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The Atlanta University Publications, No. 9 



NOTES ON 




PARTICULARLY 




A Social Study made under the direction of 

Atlanta University by the Ninth 

Atlanta Conference 



Price, ^ Cents 



The Atlanta University Press 
H ATLANTA, GA. 
1904 











rffim 








^OR thus saith the high and lofty One 
that iiihabiteth eternity, whose name 
is Holy : I dwell in the high and holy place, 
with him also that Is of a contrite and hum == 
ble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, 
and to revive the heart of the contrite ones. 

Isaiah lvii, 15. 



I mi 'li — li ■ ill iih»mii nil mi nil Till mil 1 












SOME NOTES 



ON 



NEGRO CRIME 



PARTICULARLY 



IN GEORGIA 



Report of a Social Study made under the direction 

of Atlanta University; together with the Pro= 

ceedings of the Ninth Conference for the 

Study of the Negro Problems, held at 

Atlanta University, May 24, 1904 



EDITED BY 

W. E. BURQHARDT DU BOIS 

CORRESPONDING SECRETARY OF THE CONFERENCE 



The Atlanta University Press 

ATLANTA, GA. 

1904 





Modified form of slavery survives where- 




ever prison labor is sold to private persons 






for their pecuniary profit. 



-Wines. 








CONTENTS 

PAGE 

Preface ........ v 

Bibliography vii 

1. The Problem of Crime (F. B. Sanborn) 1 

2. Crime and Slavery 2 

3. Crime and the Census 9 

4. Extent of Negro Crime 13 

5. Crime in Cities (by M. N. Work) 18 

6. Crime in Georgia. The Prison Commission 32 

7. Crime in Georgia. Special Reports . . . . . .35 

8. Atlanta and Savannah (by H. H. Proctor and M. N. Work) . 49 

9. Crime in Augusta (by A. G. Coombs and L. D. Davis) . . 52 

10. What Negroes think of Crime 54 

11. Causes of Negro Crime 55 

12. Some Conclusions 60 

13. The Ninth Conference 64 

14. Resolutions 65 

Index 67 






















H, we who are one body of one soul ! 
Great soul of man born into social form ! 
Should we not suffer at dismemberment? 
A finger torn from brotherhood ; an eye 
Having no cause to see when set alone. 
Our separation is the agony 
Of uses unfulfilled — of thwarted law. 

Perkins-Gilman. 



mtt 


























PREFACE 



A study of human life to-day involves a consideration of conditions 
of physical life, a study of various social organizations, beginning 
with the home, and investigations into occupations, education, relig- 
ion and morality, crime and political activity. The Atlanta Cycle of 
studies into the Negro problem aims at exhaustive and periodic studies 
of all these subjects so far as they relate to the American Negro. Thus 
far, in nine years of the ten-year cycle, we have studied physical condi- 
tions of life (Reports No. 1 and No. 2.) ; social organization (Reports 
No. 2 and No. 3) ; economic activity (Reports No. 4 and No. 7.) ; ed- 
ucation (Reports No. 5 and No. 6.) ; and religion (Report No. 8.) This 
year we touch upon some aspects of the important matter of Negro 
crime, confining our study for the most part to one state. The whole 
discussion of crime in the United States has usually been based on the 
census returns, and these are very inadequate. In this study the fol- 
lowing sources of information were relied upon : 

Special studies of court returns and other data in Atlanta and Savannah. 
Reports from Mayors, Chiefs of Police and other officers in 37 counties of 

Georgia. 
Reports from colored and white citizens in 37 counties in Georgia. 
A study of arrests and commitments in 20 cities of the United States. 
Seven reports of the Georgia Prison Commission. 
Answers of 2,000 school children and students. 

These data are less complete than in the case of most of our previous 
studies and few conclusions can be drawn until further facts and fig- 
ures are available. The forthcoming government report on crime will 
undoubtedly be of great aid in further study. 

In the preparation of this study, the editor is especially indebted to 
the county officials of Georgia and to a hundred or more private cor- 
respondents. He is under particular obligations to Professor M. N. 
Work of the Georgia State College, the Rev. Mr. H. H.. Proctor of Atlanta, 
and Frank Sanborn, Esq., of Concord, Mass. The proof reading was 
largely done by Mr. A. G. Dill, who also drew the diagrams and ar- 
ranged the index. 

Atlanta University has been conducting studies similar to this for 
the past nine years. The results, distributed at a nominal sum, have 
been widely used. Notwithstanding this success, the further prosecu- 
tion of these important studies is greatly hampered by the lack of 
funds. With meagre appropriations for expenses, lack of clerical 



vi NINTH ATLANTA CONFERENCE 

help and necessary apparatus, the Conference cannot cope properly 
with the vast field of work before it. 

Especially is it questionable at present as to how large and impor- 
tant a work we shall be able to prosecute during the next ten-year cy.- 
cle. It may be necessary to reduce the number of conferences to one 
every other year. We trust this will not be necessary, and we earn- 
estly appeal to those who think it worth while to study this, the great- 
est group of social problems that has ever faced the nation, for substan- 
tial aid and encouragement in the further prosecution of the work of 
the Atlanta Conference. 



A SELECT BIBLIOGRAPHY OF NEGRO CRIME 



C. H. Alexander.— The Majesty of Law. University, Miss. 1900. 

Benjamin C. Bacon.— Statistics of the Colored People of Philadelphia. Philadelphia, 
1856. 
Ibid. 2nd ed. with statistics of Crime. Philadelphia, 1859. 
J. O. Ballagh.— A History of Slavery in Virginia. 160 pp. Baltimore, 1902. 

J. S. Bassett.— History of Slavery in North Carolina. Johns Hopkins University 
Studies. Baltimore, 1899. 
Slavery and Servitude in the Colony of North Carolina. Baltimore. The Johns 
Hopkins Press. April and May, 1896. 

L. E. Bleckley. — Outrages of Negroes no Excuse for Lynching. Forum, 16:300. 

J. R. Brackett.— Progress of the Colored People of Maryland. Johns Hopkins Uni- 
versity Studies. Eighth Series. 
The Negro in Maryland. 270 pp. Baltimore. 

Status of the Slave, 1775-1789. Essay V. in Jameson's Essays in the Constitutional 
History of the United States, 1775-1789. Boston, 1889. 

L. Brandt.— Negroes of St. Louis. Pub. American Statistical Society. Vol. VII., 
1903. 

P. A. Bruce.— Plantation Negro as Freeman. New York, 1889. 

G. W. Cable.— Negro Freedman's Case in Equity. Century, 7:409. 

Rev. Dr. R. F. Campbell.— The Race Problem in the South, 1899. 

C. W. Chestnutt.— Thomas on the American Negro. Book Buyer, 38:350. 

T. R. R. Cobb.— Inquiry into the law of Negro Slavery in the U. S. A. Vol. 1. Phila- 
delphia and Savannah, 1858. 
Law of Negro Slavery in the various States of the United States, 8vo. Philadel- 
phia, 1858. 

W. H. Collins.— The Domestic Slave Trade of the Southern States. 154 pp. New 
York, 1904. 

Colored Statistics.— Nation, 77:400-1. Nov. 19, 1903. 

Condition of the Negro in various Cities. Bulletin United States Department of La- 
bor, No. 10. 



NEGRO CRIME vii 

J. Cook.— Race Riots in the South. Our Day, 5:406. 

H. S. Oooley.— Slavery in New Jersey. Johns Hopkins University Studies. Balti- 
more, 1897. 
J. E. Cutler.— Proposed Remedies for Lynching. Yale Review. August, 190-1. 

F. Douglas.— Treatment of Negroes: the Color-Line. North American, 13:57. 
Lynching of Black People because they are Black. Our Day, 13:298. 

W. S. Drewry.— The Southampton Insurrection. Washington, 1900. 

W. E. B. DuBois.— Thomas on the American Negro. Dial, 30:262. 

Some Notes on Negroes in New York City. Atlanta University, 1903. 

The Black North.— The New York Times, 1901. 

Negro and Crime. Independent, May, 1896. 

Philadelphia Negro. 520 pp. Philadelphia, 1899. 

Souls of Black Folk, 264 pp. Chicago, 1903. 

Negroes of Farmville, Va. Bulletin United States Department of Labor, No. 14. 

The Negro in Black Belt. Bulletin United States Department of Labor, No. 22. 

Bryan Edwards.— History, Civil and Commercial, of the British Colonies in the West 
Indies. London, 1807. 

R. P. Falkner.— Crime and the Census. Pub. American Academy Political and Social 
Sciences. No. 190. 

George Fitzhugh.— Cannibals all or Slaves without Masters. Richmond, 1857. 

B. O. Flower.— Burning of Negroes in the South. Arena, 7:639. 

Wm. O. Fowler.— Local Law in Massachusetts and Connecticut historically con- 
sidered: and the Historical Status of the Negro in Connecticut. Albany, 1872 
and New Haven, 1875. 

Wm. Goodell.— The American Slave Code in Theory and Practice. Judicial deci- 
sions and illustrative facts. New York, 1852. 

H. W. Grady.— Reply to Mr. Cable (Negro Freedman's Case in Equity). Century, 
7:909. 

H. Gregoire.— Enquiry concerning the intellectual and moral faculties, etc., of Ne- 
groes. Brooklyn, 1810. 

F. J. Grimke.— The Lynching of Negroes in the South. 1899. 

W. Waller Hening.— Statutes at large of Virginia. Richmond, 1812. 

F. L. Hoffman.— Race Traits and Tendencies of the Negro. American Economic 
Association. 11:1. 

Hull House Maps and Papers. New York, 1895. 

J. O. Hurd.— The law of freedom and bondage in the United States. Boston and 

New York, 1858, 1862. 
Edward Ingle.— The Negro in the District of Columbia. Johns Hopkins University 
Studies. Vol. XL Baltimore, 1893. 
Southern Side-lights. Boston, 1896. 

E. A. Johnson.— Light Ahead for the Negro. 132 pp. New York, 1904. 

F. A. Kellor.— The Criminal Negro. Arena, 25:59-510; 36:26-521. 

Experimental Sociology. 316 pp. New York, 1901. 

Fanny Kemble.— A journal of a residence on a Georgia plantation. New York, 1833. 

J. Bradford Laws.— The Negroes of Cinclare Factory and Calumet Plantation, La. 
Bulletin United States Department of Labor, No. 38. 

George Livermore. — An historical research respecting the opinions of the founders 
of the Republic on Negroes as slaves, as citizens and as soldiers. Boston, 1862. 

K. Miller.— Review of Hoffman's Race Traits and Tendencies of the Negro. Pub- 
lications of the American Negro Academy, No. 1. 

Montgomery Conference on race problems. Proceedings, L900. 

George H. Moore.— Notes on the history of slavery in Massachusetts. New York, 1866. 



viii NINTH ATLANTA CONFERENCE 

Edward Needles.— Ten Years' Progress, or a Comparison of the State and Condition 
of the Colored People in the City and County of Philadelphia from 1837-1847. 
Philadelphia, 1850. 

Negro Problems and the Negro Crime. Harper's Weekly, 47:1050-1. June 20, 1903. 

New Negro Crime. Harper's Weekly, 48:120-1. Jan. 23, 1904. 

New Negro Crime considered: Southern View. Harper's Weekly, 47:1830. Nov. 14, 1903. 

F. L. Olmstead.— The Cotton Kingdom. New York, 1861. 

Journey in the Back Country. London, 18(51. 

A journey in the sea-board slave states. New York, 1856. 

A journey through Texas. New York, 1857. 

T. N. Page.— The Negro: The Southerner's Problem. 316 pp. New York, 1904. 

Present state and condition of the free people of color of the city of Philadelphia 
and the adjoining districts. Philadelphia, 1838. 

Report of the Committee on the Comparative Health, Morality, Length of Sen- 
tence, etc., of White and Colored Convicts. Philadelphia, 1849. 

Wm. Noel Sainsbury, editor. Calendar of state papers. Colonial series. America 
and the West Indies. 1574-1676. London, 1860-1863. 

W. S. Scarborough. — Lawlessness vs. Lawlessness. Arena, 24:478. 

Servitude for Debt in Georgia.— Outlook, 74:486. June 27, 1903. 

Bernard S. Steiner.— Slavery and Connecticut. Johns Hopkins University Studies. 
Baltimore, 1893. ' 

G. M. Stroude.— A sketch of the laws relating to slavery in the several states of the 

United States of America. Philadelphia, 1827. 

A. Sledd.— Another View. Atlantic, 90:65-73. July, 1902. 

Social and Industrial Conditkm of Negroes in Massachusetts. 34th Annual Report 
Mass. Bureau of Labor. 1904. 

A Statistical Inquiry into the Condition of the People of Color of the City and Dis- 
tricts of Philadelphia. Philadelphia, 1849. 

E. Tayleur.— Social and Moral Decadence. Outlook, 76:266-71. Jan. 30, 1904. 

Walter T. Thorn. The Negroes of Litwalton, Va. Bulletin United States Depart- 
ment of Labor, No. 37. 
The Negro of Sandy Springs, Md. Bulletin United States Department of Labor, 
No. 32. 

Wm. H. Thomas— The American Negro. New York, 1901. 

United States Census, 1870. 

United States Census, 1880. 

United States Census, 1890. 

B. T. Washington.— Future of American Negro. Boston, 1899. 

S. D. Weld.— American slavery as it is: testimony of thousands of witnesses. New 
York, 1839. 

I. B. Wells-Barnett.— A Red Record. 1896. 

W. F. Willcox.— Negro Criminality. American Journal Social Science, 37:78. 

Geo. W. Williams.— History of the Negro Race in America from 1719-1880. New York, 
1883. 

G. B. Winton.— Negro Criminal. Harper's Weekly, 47:1414. August 29, 1903. 

M. N. Work.— Crime Among Negroes in Chicago. American Journal Sociology, 
6:204. 

Carroll D. Wright— Slums of Great Cities. 7th Special Report of the U. S. Depart- 
ment of Labor. Washington, 1894. 

Richard R. Wright, Jr.— The Negroes of Xenia, Ohio. Bulletin United States Depart- 
ment of Labor, No. 48. 



NEGRO CRIME 



I. The Problem* (by Frank B. Sanborn). 

Crime is in general that portion of human depravity and passion 
which is regarded and punished by human laws. As distinguished 
from vice, it is more overt, more dreaded by the community, and held 
in greater abhorrence ; while vice is more insidious, more general, and 
more ruinous to the individual, though often held in little reprehension 
by the community. For example, the vice of drunkenness was little 
censured among English-speaking persons a century ago and is still 
rather held in honor in some parts of the world; while the crime of 
parricide, though infinitely less pernicious (because it could never be- 
come common) has ever been execrated by all. But since vice is de- 
fined by conscience and opinion, and crime by law (which is the tardy 
result of conscience and opinion) , nearly every vice comes, in some 
time or place, to be stigmatized as a crime, while crimes are often re- 
manded to the catalogue of vices, and sometimes of virtues. For a 
two-fold reason, then, the moralist cannot regard crime precisely as it 
is esteemed in the popular judgment. It was once a crime where I 
stand to teach a slave to read, but not a crime to buy or sell that slave. 
We should call the first a virtue now; while the second might be held 
either a vice or a crime, or even a virtue, according to circumstances. 

Although there are many exceptions, the mass of what we term 
crime is the direct or indirect result of poverty and its attendant evils. 
Crime from other causes, however, is also painfully common. With 
vice the case is different. That also is fostered by poverty and misery, 
but it is no less stimulated by the ease and opportunity of affluence. 
Between vice and crime, the distance is usually short; but pauperism 
is not seldom an intermediate stage. From the class of comfortable 
and respectable persons, men are continually lapsing, through vice, into 
pauperism, either in themselves or their children, and from pauperism 
into crime. Even when this is not its genealogy, crime may ordinari- 
ly be traced to one of the five general causes of pauperism, which in 
1867 were thus assigned by me in a report to the Governor of Massa- 
chusetts, of which state I was then an official, charged with the in- 
vestigation of such subjects: — 

♦Remarks to the Conference, Tuesday evening, May 24, 1904. 



2 NINTH ATLANTA CONFERENCE 

"The causes of pauperism are (1) Physical inferiority and degrada- 
tion; (2) Moral perversity; (3) Mental incapacity; (4) Accidents and 
infirmities; (5) (and often the most powerful of all), Unjust and un- 
wise laws and the customs of society. Such are the general causes, 
but under the five heads come innumerable minor and proximate cau- 
ses, — intemperance, profligacy, insanity, indolence, false education, ig- 
norance, superstition, monopolies, privilege, indeed, all the enemies of 
human advancement. For pauperism is one of the sloughs in which 
the progress of mankind is arrested." 

From this unhappy slough, most of the crime of the community 
emerges, and among the emissaries of crime are the tramps that patrol 
the land, especially in wealthy manufacturing communities like New 
England. They find in great cities the haunts of vice, and keep up a 
sort of circulation, like the veins and arteries of the human body, from 
one part of the land to another. A stationary class of vicious and crimi- 
nal persons in the cities are the confederates and refuge of these wan- 
dering criminals, and vice versa, — a city criminal taking refuge in the 
moving army of tramps, and thus oftentimes escaping arrest. 

It will readily be seen that Negro slavery, while preserving the com- 
munity from an excess of technical pauperism, naturally furnished the 
same atmosphere of vice and crime, when the strong hand of slave law 
was removed by general emancipation. A similar result followed the 
emancipation of the serfs in the Middle Ages, and explains the out- 
breaks of crime and disease which marked the 14th and 15th centuries 
in Europe. 

2. Crime and Slavery.* Mr. Wines, the American criminologist, has 
said: U A modified form of slavery survives wherever prison labor is 
sold to private persons for their pecuniary profit. 1 ' The history of 
crime in the Southern states of America illustrates this. Two systems 
of controlling human labor which still flourish in the South are the di- 
rect children of slavery. These are the crop-lien system and the con- 
vict-lease system. The crop-lien system is an arrangement of chattel 
mortgages, so fixed that the housing, labor, kind of agriculture and, to 
some extent, the personal liberty of the free black laborer is put into 
the hands of the landowner and merchant. It is absentee landlordism 
and the u company-store " systems united. The convict-lease system 
is the slavery in private hands of persons convicted of crimes and mis- 
demeanors in the courts. The object of this section is to sketch the 
rise and development of the convict-lease system, and the efforts to 
modify and abolish it. 

Before the Civil War the system of punishment for criminals in the 
South was practically the same as in 1 the North. Except in a few 
cities, however, crime was less prevalent than in the North, and 
the system of slavery naturally modified the situation. The slaves 
could become criminals in the eyes of the law only in exceptional 

♦First printed in slightly altered form in the Missionary Review of the World, Oct., 
1901. 



NEGRO CRIME 3 

cases. The punishment and trial of nearly all ordinary misdemeanors 
and crimes lay in the hands of the masters. Consequently, so far as 
the state was concerned, there was no crime of any consequence among 
Negroes. The system of criminal jurisprudence had to do, therefore, 
with whites almost exclusively, and as is usual in a land of scattered 
population and aristocratic tendencies, the law was lenient in theory 
and lax in execution. 

On the other hand, the private well-ordering and control of slaves 
called for careful co-operation among masters. The fear of insurrection 
was ever before the South, and the ominous uprisings of Cato, Gabriel, 
Vesey, Turner, and Toussaint made this fear an ever-present night- 
mare. The result was a system of rural police, mounted and on duty 
chiefly at night, whose work it was to stop the nocturnal wandering 
and meeting of slaves. It was usually an effective organization, which 
terrorized the slaves, and to which all white men belonged, and were 
liable to active detailed duty at regular intervals. 

Upon this system war and emancipation struck like a thunderbolt. 
Law and order among the whites, already loosely enforced, became 
still weaker through the inevitable, influence of conflict and social 
revolution. The freedman was especially in an anomalous situation. 
The power of the slave police supplemented and depended upon that 
of the private masters. When the masters' power was broken the 
patrol was easily transmuted into a lawless and illegal mob known to 
history as the Ku Klux Klan. Then came the first, and probably the 
most disastrous, of that succession of political expedients by which 
the South sought to deal with the consequences of emancipation. It 
will always be a nice question of ethics as to how far a conquered peo- 
ple can be expected to submit to the dictates of a victorious foe. Cer- 
tainly the world must to a degree sympathize with resistance under 
such circumstances. The mistake of the South, however, was to adopt 
a kind of resistance which in the long run weakened her moral fiber, 
destroyed respect for law and order, and enabled gradually her worst 
elements to secure an unfortunate ascendency. The South believed 
in slave labor, and was thoroughly convinced that free Negroes would 
not work steadily or effectively. Elaborate and ingenious apprentice 
and vagrancy laws were therefore passed, designed to make the freed- 
men and their children work for their former masters at practically no 
wages. Justification for these laws was found in the inevitable ten- 
dency of many of the ex-slaves to loaf when the fear of the lash was 
taken away. The new laws, however, went far beyond such justifica- 
ion, totally ignoring that large class of freedrnen eager to work and 
earn property of their own, stopping all competition between employers, 
and confiscating the labor and liberty of children. In fact, the new 
laws of this period recognized the Emancipation Proclamation and 
the Thirteenth Amendment simply as abolishing the slave-trade. 

The interference of Congress in the plans for reconstruction stopped 
the full carrying out of these schemes, and the Freedmen's Bureau 
consolidated and sought to develop the various plans for employing 



4 NINTH ATLANTA CONFERENCE 

and guiding the freedmen already adopted in different places under 
the protection of the Union Army. This government guardianship 
established a free wage system of labor by the help of the army, 
the striving of the best of the blacks, and the co-operation of some 
of the whites. In the matter of adjusting legal relationships, how- 
ever, the Bureau failed. It had, to be sure, Bureau courts, with 
one representative of the ex-master, one of the freedmen, and one of 
the Bureau itself, but they never gained the confidence of the com- 
munity. As the regular state courts gradually regained power, it 
was necessary for them to fix by their decisions the new status of 
the freedmen. It was perhaps as natural as it was unfortunate that 
amid this chaos the courts sought to do by judicial decisions what 
the legislatures had formerly sought to do by specific law — namely, 
reduce the freedmen to serfdom. As a result, the small peccadilloes 
of a careless, untrained class were made the excuse for severe sen- 
tences. The courts and jails became filled with the careless and ig- 
norant, with those who sought to emphasize their new found free- 
dom, and too often with innocent victims of oppression. The testi- 
mony of a Negro counted for little or nothing in court, while the 
accusation of white witnesses was usually decisive. The result of 
this was a sudden large increase in the apparent criminal popula- 
tion of the Southern states— an increase so Large that there was no 
way for the state to house it or watch it even had the state wished to. 
And the state did not wish to. Throughout the South laws were 
immediately passed authorizing public officials to lease the labor 
of convicts to the highest bidder. The lessee then took charge of 
the convicts — worked them as he wished under the nominal control 
of the state. Thus a new slavery and slave-trade was established. 

The abuses of this system have often been dwelt upon. It had 
the worst aspects of slavery without any of its redeeming features. 
The innocent, the guilty, and the depraved were herded together, chil- 
dren and adults, men and women, given into complete control of 
practically irresponsible men, whose sole object was to make the most 
money possible. The innocent were made had, the bad worse; wom- 
en were outraged and children tainted; whipping and torture were 
in vogue, and the death-rate t'n>m cruelty, exposure, and overwork 
rose to large percentages. The actual hosses over such leased pris- 
oners were usually selected from the lowest classes of whites, and 
the camps were often far from settlements or public roads. The 
prisoners often had scarcely any clothing, they were fed on a scan- 
ty diet of corn bread and fat meat, and worked twelve or more 
hours a day. After work each must do his own cooking. There was 
insufficient shelter; in one Georgia cam]), as late as 1895, sixty-one 
men slept in one room, seventeen by nineteen feet, and seven feet 
high. Sanitary conditions were wretched, there was little or no 
medical attendance, and almost no care of the sick. Women were 
mingled indiscriminately with the men, both in working and in 
sleeping, and dressed often in men's clothes. A young girl at camp 



NEGKO CRIME 5 

Hardmont, Georgia, in 1895, was repeatedly outraged by several of 
her guards, and finally died in childbirth while in camp. 

Such facts illustrate the system at its worst — as it used to exist in 
nearly every Southern state, and as it still exists in parts of Georgia, 
Mississippi, Louisiana, and other states. It is difficult to say whether 
the effect of such a system is worse on the whites or on the Negroes. 
So far as the whites are concerned, the convict-lease system lowered 
the respect for courts, increased lawlessness, and put the states into 
the clutches of penitentiary "rings." The courts were brought into 
politics, judgeships became elective for shorter and shorter terms, and 
there grew up a public sentiment which would not consent to consider- 
ing the desert of a criminal apart from his color. If the criminal were 
white, public opinion refused to permit him to enter the chai'ngang 
save in the most extreme cases. The result is that even to-day it is 
difficult to enforce the criminal laws in the South against whites. On 
the other hand, so customary had it become to convict any Negro upon 
a mere accusation, that public opinion was loathe to allow a fair trial 
to black suspects, and was too often tempted to take the law into its 
own hands. Finally the state became, a dealer in crime, profited by it 
so as to derive a net annual income from her prisoners. The lessees of 
the convicts made large profits also. Under such circumstances, it was 
almost impossible to remove the clutches of this vicious system from 
the state. Even as late as 1890, the Southern states were the only sec- 
tion of the Union where the income from prisons and reformatories ex- 
ceeded the expense.* Moreover, these figures do not include the coun- 
ty gangs where the lease system is to-day most prevalent and the net 
income largest. 

INCOME AND EXPENSE OF STATE PRISONS AND REFORMATORIES, I 



New England 

Middle States 

Border States 

Southern States-j-. 

Central States 

Western States. . . 



Earnings. 


Expense. 


$299,735 
71,252 
597,898 
938,406 
6544,161 
378,036 


$1,201,(129 
1,850,452 

962,411 

890, 
1,971,795 
1,572,316 



Profit. 



$17,971 



The effect of the convict-lease system on the Negroes was deplorable. 
First, it linked crime and slavery indissolubly in their minds as simply 
forms of the white man's oppression. Punishment, consequently, lost 
the most effective of its deterrent effects, and the criminal gained pity 
instead of disdain. The Negroes lost faith in the integrity of courts and 
the fairness of juries. Worse than all, the chaingangs became schools 
of crime which hastened the appearance of the confirmed Negro crimi- 
nal upon the scene. That some crime and vagrancy should follow 
emancipation was inevitable. A nation cannot systematically degrade 
labor without in some degree debauching the laborer. But there can 

♦Bulletin No. 8, Library of State of New York. All figures in this section are from 
this source. 

-[-South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, and Arkansas. 



6 NINTH ATLANTA CONFERENCE 

be no doubt but that the indiscriminate method by which Southern 
courts dealt with the freedmen after the war increased crime and vaga- 
bondage to an enormous extent. There are no reliable statistics to 
which one can safely appeal to measure exactly the growth of crime 
among the emancipated slaves. About seventy per cent, of all pris- 
oners in the South are black; this, however, is in part explained by the 
fact that accused Negroes are still easily convicted and get long sen- 
tences, while whites still continue to escape the penalty of many crimes 
even among themselves. And yet, allowing for all this, there can be 
no reasonable doubt but that there has arisen in the South since the 
war a class of black criminals, loafers and ne'er-do-wells who are a 
menace to their fellows, both black and white. 

The appearance of the real Negro criminal stirred the South deeply. 
The whites, despite their long use of the criminal court for putting 
Negroes to work, were used to little more than petty thieving and loaf- 
ing on their part, and not to crimes of boldness, violence, or cunning. 
When, after periods of stress or financial depression, as in 1892, such 
crimes increased in frequency, the wrath of a people unschooled in the 
modern methods of dealing with crime broke all bounds and reached 
strange depths of barbaric vengeance and torture.' Such acts, instead 
of drawing the best opinion of these states and of the nation toward a 
consideration of Negro crime and criminals, discouraged and alienated 
the best classes of Negroes, horrified the civilized world, and made the 
best white Southerners ashamed. 

Nevertheless, in the midst of all this, a leaven of better things had 
been working, and the bad effects of the epidemic of lynching quick- 
ened it. The great difficulty to be overcome in the South w r as the 
false theory of work and of punishment of wrong-doers inherited from 
slavery. The inevitable result of a slave system is for a master class 
to consider that the slave exists for his benefit alone — that the slave 
has no rights which the master is bound to respect. Inevitably this 
idea persisted after emancipation. The black workman existed for the 
comfort and profit of white people,, and the interests of white people 
were the only ones to be seriously considered. Consequently, for a 
lessee to work convicts for his profit was a most natural thing. Then, 
too, these convicts were to be punished, and the slave theory of pun- 
ishment was pain and intimidation. Given these ideas, and the convict- 
lease system was inevitable. But other ideas were also prevalent in the 
South; there were in slave times plantations where the well-being of 
the slaves was considered, and where punishment meant the correc- 
tion of the fault rather than brute discomfort. After the chaos of war 
and reconstruction passed, there came from the better conscience of 
the South a growing demand for reform in the treatment of crime. 
The w r orst horrors of the convict-lease system were attacked persist- 
ently in nearly every Southern state. Back in the eighties, George W. 
Cable, a Southern man, published a strong attack on the system. The 
following decade Governor Atkinson, of Georgia, instituted a search- 
ing investigation, which startled the state by its revelation of existing 



NEGRO CRIME 7 

conditions. Still more recently Florida, Arkansas and other states 
have had reports and agitation for reform. The result has been 
marked improvement in conditions during the last decade. This is 
shown in part by the statistics of 1895; in that year the prisons and re- 
formatories of the far South cost the states $204,483 more than they 
earned, while before this they had nearly always yielded an income. 
This is still the smallest expenditure of any section, and looks strange- 
ly small beside New England's $1,190,564. At the same time, a move- 
ment in the right direction is clear. The laws are being framed more 
and more so as to prevent the placing of convicts altogether in private 
control. They are not, to be sure, always enforced, Georgia having 
still several hundreds of convicts so controlled. In nearly all the Gulf 
states the convict-lease system still has a strong hold, still debauches 
public sentiment and breeds criminals. 

The next step after the lease system was to put the prisoners under 
regular state inspection, but to lease their labor to contractors, or to 
employ it in some remunerative labor for the state. It is this stage 
that the South is slowly reaching to-day, so far as the criminals are 
concerned who are dealt with directly 'by the states. Those whom the 
state still unfortunately leaves in the hands of county officials are us- 
ually leased to irresponsible parties. Without doubt, work, and work 
worth the doing — i. e., profitable work — is best for the prisoners. Yet 
there lurks in this system a dangerous temptation. The correct theory 
is that the work is for the benefit of the criminal — for his correction, if 
possible. At the same time, his work should not be allowed to come 
into unfair competition with that of honest laborers, and it should 
never be an object of traffic for pure financial gain. Whenever the 
profit derived from the work becomes the object of employing prison- 
ers, then evil must result. In the South to-day it is natural that in 
the slow turning from the totally indefensible private lease system, 
some of its wrong ideas should persist. Prominent among these per- 
sisting ideas is this: that the most successful dealing with criminals 
is that which costs the state least in actual outlay. This idea still 
dominates most of the Southern states. Georgia spent $2.38 per capita 
on her 2,938 prisoners in 1890, while Massachusetts spent $62.96 per cap- 
ita on her 5,227 prisoners. Moreover, by selling the labor of her pris- 
oners to the highest bidders, Georgia not only got all her money back, 
but made a total clear profit of $6.12 on each prisoner. Massachusetts 
spent about $100,000 more than was returned to her by prisoners 1 labor. 
Now it is extremely difficult, under such circumstances, to prove to a 
state that Georgia is making a worse business investment than Massa- 
chusetts. It will take another generation to prove to the South that 
an apparently profitable traffic in crime is very dangerous business for 
a state ; that prevention of crime and the reformation of criminals is the 
one legitimate object of all dealing with depraved natures, and that 
apparent profit arising from other methods is in the end worse than 
dead loss. Bad public schools and profit from crime explain much of 
the Southern social problem. 



8 NINTH ATLANTA CONFERENCE 

Moreover, in the desire to make the labor of criminals pay, little 
heed is taken of the competition of convict and free laborers, unless 
the free laborers are white and have a vote. Black laborers are con- 
tinually displaced in such industries as brick-making, mining, road- 
building, grading, quarrying, and the like, by convicts hired at $3, or 
thereabouts, a month. 

The second mischievous idea that survives from slavery and the 
convict-lease system is the lack of all intelligent discrimination in 
dealing with prisoners. The most conspicuous and fatal example of 
this is the indiscriminate herding of juvenile and adult criminals. It 
need hardly be said that such methods manufacture criminals more 
quickly than all other methods can reform them. In 1890, of all the 
Southern states, only Texas, Tennessee, Kentucky, Maryland, and 
West Virginia made any state appropriations tor juvenile reforma- 
tories. In 1895 Delaware was added to these, but Kentucky was 
missing. We have, therefore, expended for juvenile reformatories: 

1895, 

\. w England | |864, 

Boi 174,781 

athern - in. i<>s . . 10 

And this in face of the fact that the South had in L890 ever four 
thousand p ers under twenty years o [n some of the Southern 

states — notably, Virginia — thei private associations for juvenile 

rni. acting in co-operation with th< 'rinse have, in some 

recently rec lived state aid. in other states, like Georgia, there 
is permissive ition for the establishment of Local reformatories. 

Little 1 nit.'.! ae pom this Legislation, but it La promising. 

This section hat it to trace roughly tin- attitude of the South 

toward crime. There Ls in thai attitude much to condemn, but also 
something to praise. The tendencies are to-d a; inly in the right 

direction, but there is a Long battle to be fought with prejudice and 
inertia before the South will realize that a black criminal is a human 
being, to be punished firmly hut humanely, with the sole object of 
making him a Bafe member ol Bociety, and that a white criminal at 
- a menace ami a dai difficulty to-day in the 

way of [•.•form is this rac< Ion. The movement for juvenile re- 

formatories In G i would have one years ago, in all 

probability, had not the argument been used: it Ls chiefly forthebene- 
1'iitil the public opinion of the ruling masses of the 
South c that the prevention of crime among N - is just as 

try. just as profitable, for tie- whites themselves, as prevention 
among whites, all true ! nent in courts and prisons will he binder- 

Above all, we must remember that crime is not normal ; thai the 
appearance of crime among Southern N< symptom of wrong 

:al conditions — of a of life »r than a Large part of the 

omunity ran hear. The Negro Ls not naturally criminal; he is 
usually patient ami Law-abiding. If slavery, the convict-lease system, 
traffic in criminal Lab lack of juvenile reformatories, to- 



NEGRO CRIME 9 

gether with the unfortunate discrimination and prejudice in other 
walks of life, have led to that sort of social protest and revolt which 
we call crime, then we must look for remedy in the sane reform of 
these wrong social conditions, and not in intimidation, savagery, or 
the legalized slavery of men. 

3. Crime and the Census. Before a remedy of any kind can be 
applied to crime, we must know something of the extent of the 
evil. How far is crime prevalent among Negroes, and what sorts of 
crime are most common? The extreme Southern view of the situation 
is illustrated by the statement of Governor James K. Vardr.man of 
Mississippi:* 

1. The Negro element is the most criminal in our population. 

2. The Negro is much more criminal as a free man than he was as a slave. 

:{. The Negro is increasing in criminality with fearful rapidity, being one third 
more criminal in 1890 than 1880. 

4. The Negroes who can read and write are more criminal than the illiterate, 
which is true of no other element of our population. 

5. The Negro is nearly three times as criminal in the Northeast, where he has 
not been a slave for a hundred years, and three and a half times as criminal in the 
Northwest, where he has never been a slave, as in the South, where he was a 
slave until ISC)."). 

6. The Negro is three times as criminal as a native white, and once and a half 
as criminal as the foreign white, consisting in many cases of the scum of Europe. 

7. More than seven-tent lis of the Negro criminals are under thirty years of age. 

The conservative Northern view may bo represented by the words 
of Professor Walter P. Willcbx in answer to the above assertions :t 

''1. The Negro element is the most criminal in our population. 11 The main evidence, 
almost the only evidence, regarding the criminality of different classes is derived 
from census statistics. The most recent figures on the subject are those of 1890, 
an inquiry into the subject by the Census Office for the year 1904 being now in 
progress. The following figures show the number of prisoners in the United 
States in 1890 of the specified race to each 10,000 total population of that race : 

Race 

White K» 

Negro 

Mongolian 38 

Indian , 55 

The preceding figures indicate that the criminality of the Negro race is much 
higher than that of the whites, but lower than that of the Indians and Mongoli- 
ans. The Chinese and Japanese in the United States are nearly all men, from 
which class prisoners mainly come. For this reason such a comparison between 
Negroes and Mongolians is misleading, and probably more accurate comparisons 
would show the criminality of the Negroes to be higher than that of the Mongo- 
lians. But I see no reason for doubting the obvious inference from the figures 
that it is lower than that of the Indians, and therefore I do not believe the first 
conclusion. 

"2. The Negro is much more criminal as a free man than he was as a slave. 11 
Crimes committed by the Negro under the slavery system were usually punished 

•Leslie's Weekly, Feb. 4, 1904. +Ibid, Feb. 11, 1904. 



10 NINTH ATLANTA CONFERENCE 

by the master without recourse to the courts. Now there is no master, and the 
courts must punish the Negro criminal, if he is not in most cases to go free. 
Court records, if tabulated in statistical form, as they are not, would doubtless 
show a greater amount of recorded crime. But I do not think such statistics 
would prove the conclusion that he is by nature or by habit more criminal than 
as a slave, nor do I see how it can be established by other evidence than that de- 
rived from personal opinion. My experience does not warrant me in drawing any 
conclusion on this point. 

"3. The Negro is increasing in criminality with fearful rapidity, being one-third 
more criminal in 1890 than in 1880." The evidence on this point also comes from 
the census. In 1880 there were twenty-five Negro, Indian and Mongolian prison- 
ers to every 10,000 persons of those races. In 1890 there were thirty-three. The 
Negroes are many times as numerous as the other races combined, and therefore 
the foregoing figures are substantially true for the Negroes alone. How far this 
increase is due to a change in the characteristics of the race, and how far to an 
increase in the number of crimes punished by the law, or to the efficacy of the ju- 
dicial system in ferreting out and punishing crime, it seems impossible to say. I 
believe there has been an increase in Negro criminality, but that the foregoing 
figures do not afford an accurate measure of its amount. 

"4. The Negroes who can read and write are more criminal than the illiterate, which 
is true of no other element of our population." In 1890, among every 10,000 Negroes at 
least ten years of age who could read and write, there w*ere forty-one prisoners, 
while among every 10,000 illiterate Negroes of the same ages there were forty-nine 
prisoners. The conclusion is thus shown to be incorrect. For reasons which I have 
not space here to state, I believe that the true difference in favor of the educated 
Negroes is greater than the foregoing figures indicate. 

"5. The Negro is nearly three times as criminal in the Northeast, where he has not 
been a slave for a hundred years, and three and a half times as criminal in the North- 
west, where he has never been a slave, as in the South, where he was a slave until 1865." 
The evidence for this statement is also derived from the census. In the Southern 
States in 1890 there were twenty-nine Negro prisoners to every 10,000 Negroes, in 
the Northeast there were seventy-five, and in the far Western States ninety-five. 
Governor Vardaman explains this difference as a lingering effect of slavery. It 
certainly was not due to that. The proof is found in the fact that similar differ- 
ences exist among whites. In his State of Mississippi, for example, there were 
fourteen Negro prisoners to 10,000 Negroes, and in my State of New York there 
were 100, but in Mississippi there were two white prisoners to every 10,000 whites, 
and in New York there were eighteen. Are we to explain the low percentage of 
criminals among Southern whites as also a lingering effect of Negro slavery? 
No; the fact is that crime and criminals are more prevalent in closely settled 
communities, where any sort of disorder is more likely to lead directly to the pris- 
on. Negro criminals are more numerous at the North and the West, partly be- 
cause there are fewer Negro children and more adult men in those sections, but 
mainly because Negroes at the North live especially in the cities, while at the 
South they live mainly in the country. 

"6. The Negro is three times as criminal as a native white, and once and a half as 
criminal as the foreign white, consisting in many cases of the scum of Europe. v Negro 
criminality is undoubtedly far greater than white, and I have little doubt that 
the foregoing statement is substantially, though not numerically, correct. Per- 
haps a fairer comparison than that between all Negroes and all foreign-born 
whites would be between the Negroes and the foreign-born living in the North. 
In the North Atlantic division, where recent immigrants are most numerous, the 
Negro prisoners relative to population are three times as numerous as foreign-born 



NEGRO CRIME 



11 



white prisoners, and in the North Central division they are more than six times 
as numerous. 

"7. More than seven-tenths of the Negro criminals are under thirty years of age. 11 
This statement is substantially correct. But it should be noticed that more than 
half of the white prisoners are also under thirty years of age, and that the average 
length of life of the Negroes is several years less than that of the whites, and 
therefore the proportion of them in the higher ages is small. The figures, howev- 
er, do indicate a disproportionate and probably an increasing amount of juvenile 
crime among the Negroes. 

The evidence relied upon in judging crime among Negroes is chiefly 
the United States Census Reports of 1870, 1880 and 1890. These reports 
are briefly summarized in the following pages: 







White 










1870 


1880 


1890 


Prisoners 


24,845 
740 


41,861 
964 


57,310 


Ratio per million 


1,042 


Colored (Negro, Indian, etc.) 



Prisoners 

Ratio per million 

( Negroes 
Ratio per million < Chinese 

( Indian.. 



8,056 
1,621 



16,748 
2,480 



25,019 
3,275 
3,250 
3,835 
5,476 



How shall these figures be interpreted ? First, it is certain that they 
cannot be given their full value because of the method of collection. 
The census of 1890 says:* 

The increase in the number of prisoners during the last 40 years has been more 
apparent than real, owing to the very imperfect enumeration of the prison popu- 
lation prior to 1880. Whatever it has been, it is not what it might be supposed to 
be, if we had no other means of judging of it than by the figures contained in the 
census volumes. 

The census method of measuring crime by counting the prison pop- 
ulation on a certain day every ten years has been shown by Dr. Roland 
P. Falkner to lead to unwarranted conclusions. He says: f 

If the amount of crime means the ratio between the offenses committed in a 
given year and the population at that time, the census volume fails to give us a 
correct idea of crime in the United States : 

1. Because it furnishes no basis for a calculation of the increase of crime. 

2. Because in depicting the geographical distribution of crime, it favors one 
locality at the expense of another. 

3. Because it exaggerates the number of the male sex in the aggregate of crime. 

4. Because it assigns to the Negroes a larger, and to the foreign-born white a 
smaller, share in the total of crime than belongs to each. 

5. Because it distorts the picture of the relative frequency of different classes 
of crimes. 

Mr. Falkner says further : t 



*llth Census, Crime, etc., Pt. I, p. 126. +C rime and the Census, p. 66. Jlbid, p. 62. 



12 



NINTH ATLANTA CONFERENCE 



The census can here do justice to the different elements only on the supposi- 
tion of a uniform distribution of sentences. If one class receive longer sentences 
than another, or commit classes of crimes for which longer sentences are given, 
it will appear unduly magnified in the census report. The following table 
summarizes the facts of the census report, regarding sentences where a definite 
term has been imposed by the courts : 

Sentences of the Prison Population in 1890, by Elements of the Population 



GROUPS 



Average 

sentence, 

years 



Prisoners 
with clef, 
sentences 



Sentences of 

under one 

year 



Per cent of 

sentences 

under 1 year 



Total 

Total white 

Total native white. . . 
Foreign-born white. 
Negroes 



3.88 
3.46 
3.67 

2.97 

4.84 



65,653 

44,856 
32,076 
12,434 
18,322 



18,538 

14,688 

9,141 

5,425 

3,737 



29.13 
32.74 
28.50 
43.63 
20.39 



The variation in average sentences is quite considerable. The short term of- 
fenders really constitute the bulk of the total commitments of a year, but as we 
have seen do not exercise the greatest influence upon the census totals. If the 
short term sentences fall below the average, as in the case of the Negroes, that el- 
ement receives undue prominence in the census. If they rise above the average, 
as in the case of the foreign-born, that element has not its appropriate quota in 
the census figures. 

From the sentences and prisoners as reported in the census of 1890, 
Mr. Falkner then proceeds to calculate the probable number of com- 
mitments and makes the following table: * 

Prison Population in 1890 and Estimate of Commitments, by Elements of the Population 



GROUPS 


Prisoners Sentenced or Com- 
mitted. 


Percentages 




1 year and 
over 


Under 1 
year 


Total 


1 year and 
over 


Under 1 
year 


Total 


Sentenced 














Native white 


22,935 

7,009 

14,585 


9,141 
5,425 
3,737 


32,076 
12,434 
18,322 


50.84 
15.51 
32.55 


49.31 
29.26 
20.16 


50.41 


Foreign-horn white . . 

Negroes 


19.53 

28.78 


Committed 














Native white 

Foreign-born white . . 

Negroes 


9,283 
2,890 
5,445 


96,470 
59,374 
35,036 


105,753 
62,264 
40,181 


52.32 
16.29 
30.69 


49.76 
30.61 
18.06 


49.96 
29.42 
19.12 



If we compare the percentages for the prison population, we see that the long 
sentences have the greatest weight in determining the average for all. In the 
probable commitments the contrary is the case. Our calculations do not affect 
the proportion of native white, but they reverse the positions of the Negro and 
the foreign-born white. 

Thus this estimate reduces the responsibility of the Negro for crime 
in this land from 30% to 19%. 



♦Crime and the Census, p. 63. 



NEGRO CRIME 13 

4. Extent of Negro Crime. It seems fair to conclude that the Ne- 
groes of the United States, forming about one-eighth of the population, 
were responsible in 1890 for nearly one-fifth of the crime. 

Detailed figures from the censuses are as follows: 

Colored* Prisoners, 1870 

United States 8,056 

North Atlantic States 1,160 

South " " 3,391 

North Central 833 

South " 2,610 

Western 32 

Colored* Prisoners, 1880 



United States 

North Atlantic Division 
South Atlantic Division 
North Central Division . 
South Central Division . 
Western Division 



Colored 



16,748 



1,403 
5,579 
1,708 
7,394 
664 



Colored, 
male 



15,500 



1,265 
5,057 
1,580 
6,938 
660 



Colored, 
female 



1,248 



138 
522 
128 
456 
4 



Offenses Charged 



All, Offenses 

Offenses against government 

Offenses against society 

Offenses against person 

Offenses against property 

Offenses on high seas 

Miscellaneous 

Not stated 



Colored 



16,562 



117 

1,072 

3,918 

9,510 

2 

315 
1,610 



Colored, 
male 



15,381 



116 

809 

3,691 

9,027 



259 
1,476 



Colored, 
female 



1,181 



1 
263 

227 
483 



56 
140 



Prisoners by Sex and Geographical Divisions 



1890 


Males 


Females 


Total 


United States 

North Atlantic 

South Atlantic 

North Central 


22,305 

1,793 
8,113 

2,528 

9,625 

246 


1,972 

244 
750 
210 
756 
12 


24,277 

2,037 

8,863 
2,738 


South Central 

Western 


10,381 

258 



By Prisons 



Prisons 

In state prisons and penitentiaries 

In county jails 

In city prisons 

In workhouses and houses of correction 

Leased out ( by counties) 

In military and naval prisons 

In hospitals and asylums for the insane 

Total 



Percentages 




100.00 % 



* Includes Indians and Chinese. 



14 



NINTH ATLANTA CONFERENCE 

Ratios of Prisoners to 1,000,000 of Negro Population 

No. Atlantic Div 7,547 

So. " " 2,716 

No. Central " 0,851 

So. " " 2,984 

Western " 9,527 

United States 3,250 



Out of every 10,000 Negro prisoners : 



5 


are 


under 


10 years of age 


1,822 


(< 


10-19 


a a 


5,078 


« 


20-29 


it it 


1,875 


u 


30-39 


a it 


741 


it 


40-49 


a a 


327 


a 


50-59 


U it 


117 


a 


60-69 


it u 


28 


a 


70-79 


(( (( 


5 


it 


80-89 


(( u 


2 


M 


90-99 


it a 



Out of every 10,000 Negroes : 

15-19 years of age 44 are prisoners, and 11* in reformatories 



20-24 

25-29 

30-34 

35-44 

45-54 

55-64 

65 and 

over 



.98 
.88 
.63 
.41 
.25 
17 



The average age of Negro prisoners is : 

Male 27.73 years 

Female 26.08 " 

Total 27.60 " 



Negroes were incarcerated for the following offenses: 



Kind of Offenses 



Total 

1. Against the government 

2. Against society, (i. e., perjury, adultery, gam- 

bling, drunkenness, disorder, concealed weap- 
ons, vagrancy, etc.) 

3. Against the person, (murder, rape, assaults, etc.) . 

4. Against property 

5. Miscellaneous, (double crimes, infractions of 

municipal ordinances, witnesses, unknown) 



Both sexes 



100.00 % 
0.70 % 

16.54 % 
25.95 % 
46.65 % 

10.16 % 



Males 



100.00 % 
0.77 % 

14.13 % 
26.72 % 
48.28 % 

10.10 % 



Females 



100.00 % 
0.08 % 

40.64 % 
18.22 % 
30.33 % 

10.73 % 



NEGRO CRIME 
The actual number of offenses for whites and Negroes is : 



15 



OFFENSES 
All Offenses 

1. Against the government 

2. Against society 

Perjury and false swearing. . 

Incest 

Adultery 

Fornication, etc 

Gambling 

Public intoxication 

Disorderly conduct 

Carrying concealed weapons 
Vagrancy 

3. Against the person 

Homicide 

Rape 

4. Against property 

Burglary 

Larceny 

5. Miscellaneous 



Whites 



Negroes 



Indians 



1,000,000 

28,721 

269,796 
2,949 
3,210 
4,886 

14,849 
1,152 

99,529 

56,273 
2,879 

43,273 

179,148 
77,212 
14,203 

451,858 
120,015 
241,877 

70,407 



1,000,000 

7,332 

134,283 

6,961 

1,565 

4,407 

6,591 

10,545 

16,353 

23,767 

14,293 

14,747 

277,629 

112,823 

23,438 

476,954 
114,307 

288,668 

103,802 



1,000,000 

40,373 

279,503 
9,317 



9,317 
3,105 



52,795 
9,317 



15,528 

388,199 

285,714 
24,845 

273,292 

40.373 

214,286 

18,633 



Average Ages of Prisoners by Groups of Crimes 



All offenses 

Offenses against government 

Offenses against society 

Offenses against person 

Offenses against property 

Offenses on high seas 

Miscellaneous 



Aggregate 
number 



30.65 

31.44 
33.87 
32.38 

28.35 
38.00 
30.02 



Negroes 



27.60 

30.76 
27.99 
29.01 
26.60 



7.84 



Crime 


and Illiteracy 










NEGROES 


Percentage of total 
population 


Percentage of prison 
population. 




Total 


Males 


Females 


Total 


Males 


Females 


Read and write 


42.91 

57.09 

6.81 

50.28 


45.63 

54.37 

6.73 

47.64 


40.23 

59.77 

6.87 

52.90 


38.88 

61.12 

6.99 

54.13 


39.11 

60.89 

6.58 

54.31 


36.26 


Illiterate* 


63.74 


Read only : 


11.71 


Neither read nor write 


52.03 











From the figures of 1890 it seems fair to conclude: 

1. That eight-tenths of the Negro prisoners are in the South where 
nine-tenths of the Negroes dwell. This is further emphasized by the 
fact that Negroes in the North furnish 60 to 75 prisoners for every 10,000 
-of population, while those in the South furnish about 30. This discrep- 
ancy is largely explained by the difference in urban and rural popula- 
tions, and the migration northward. 



♦According to the usage of the census of 1890 the term "illiterate " includes both 
those who can read and not write and those who neither read nor write. Of. 



16 NINTH ATLANTA CONFERENCE 

2. While 60% of the prisoners are in State Prisons and Penitentia- 
ries, this excess of dangerous criminals is apparent and not real and is 
due to the census method of computing crime. 

3. Half of the Negro prisoners are between the ages of 20 and 30 
years, a fifth, 10-19 years, and another fifth, 30 40 years. This shows 
a lower criminal age than among whites. 

4. Nearly half of the Negro prisoners are confined for crimes against 
property. If commitments were tabulated, undoubtedly pilfering 
would be found to be pre-eminently the Negro crime. This is due to 
imperfect ideas of property ownership inseparable from a system of 
slavery. 

5. One-fourth of the Negro prisoners are confined for crimes against 
the person. This consists of fighting and quarreling, ending at times 
in homicide, and also the crime of rape. Fighting is to be expected of 
ignorant people and people living under unsettled conditions. Of 
1,392 persons confined for rape in 1890, 578 were Negroes. These figures 
exaggerate the apparent guilt of Negroes because the Negroes received 
an average sentence of 14.04 years for rape while whites received an 
average sentence of 12.72 years, and probably a still larger dispropor- 
tion in life sentences existed. Negroes too are more easily convicted 
of tiiis crime to-day, because of public opinion. Notwithstanding all 
these considerations there is no doubt of a large prevalence of sexual 
crime among Negroes. This is due to the sexual immorality of slavery, 
the present defenselessness of a proscribed caste, and the excesses of 
the undeveloped clashes among Negroes. 

6. One-sixth of the criminals in jail were charged with crimes 
inst society — gambling, drunkenness, adultery, etc. 

7. The age statistics show that among both whites and blacks the 
yc.inger criminals steal; among Negroes, crimes against society and 
the person claim the next older set, while crimes against the govern- 
ment and the person come next among whites. 

8. The illiterate Negroes furnish more of the criminals than those 
who read and write. The difference in education between the great 
number who can just barely read and write and the wholly illiterate is 
not great, so that this does nol really illustrate the full degree in which 
ignorance causes Negro crime. There has been so much dispute and 
misapprehension on this point that additional testimony is valuable. 
Mr. Clarence Poe says:* 

But do the general, nation-wide results indicate that education is helpful ? It 
has often been claimed that they do not. And in proof we have the oft repeated 
charge that the percentage of literacy amonu: Negro criminals in 1890 was higher 
than that for the total Negro population — in other words, that the literate Negroes 
furnish a larger proportion of prisoners than the illiterate. This statement was 
made in an address before the National Prison Association in 1897. It was print- 
ed in one of our foremost magazines, the North American Review, in June, 1900. 
It was repeated by a governor of (Georgia in a public message. A Mississippi 

•Clarence H. Poe, a Southern white man, edltorof the Raleigh J'roijrcssive Farmer, 
in the Atlantic Monthly, February, 1904, p. 162. 



NEGBO CRIME 17 

preacher has sent it broadcast over the South, and it was doubtless used in the 
recent campaign in that state. Scores of papers have copied it. Even now a 
Southern daily which I have just received has a two-column argument against 
Negro education, based on the alleged census figures. "To school the Negro," 
says the writer, "is to increase his criminality. Official statistics do not lie, and 
they tell us that the Negroes who can read and write are more criminal than the 
illiterate. In New England, where they are best educated, they are four and a 
half times as criminal as in the Black Belt, where they are most ignorant. The more 
money for Negro education, the more Negro crime. This is the unmistakable 
showing of the United States Census." 

That such statements as these have thus far gone unchallenged should indeed 
excite our special wonder. It was only the desire to get the exact figures that led 
me to discover their falsity. The truth is, that of the Negro prisoners in 1890 only 
38.88 per cent, were able to read and write, while of the total Negro population 42.90 
per cent, were able to read and write. And in every division of the country save 
one (and that with only a handful of Negro criminals) the prisons testified that 
the literate Negroes were less lawless than the illiterate. To make the matter 
plain, the following figures have been prepared by the United States Bureau of 
Education. They show the number of criminals furnished by each 100,000 colored 
literates, and the number furnished by each 100,000 colored illiterates, according 
to the Census of 1890 : 

Criminals in each 100,000 Negroes 

Section Literates Illiterates 

North Atlantic Division 828 1174 

South Atlantic Division 320 426 

South Central Division 317 498 

North Central Division 807 820 

Western Division 542 518 

When we consider that there were only 258 Negro prisoners in all the Western 
division (out of 24,277 in the Union), the mere accident that, of these few, seven 
more than the exact proportion came from the literate element loses all signifi- 
cance; the test is on a scale too small for general conclusions. Summing up, it 
appears that of our total colored population in 1890 each 100,000 illiterates fur- 
nished 489 criminals, and each 100,000 literates only 413 criminals. Even more 
striking testimony comes from the North Carolina State's Prison situated in the 
writer's own city. In the two years during which it has kept a record, the pro- 
portion of Negro criminals from the illiterate class has been 40 per cent, larger 
than from the class which has had school training. 

Later the same writer adds to this the following data.* 

From Governor Vardaman's own State of Mississippi, where, in 1890, 60.9 per cent, 
and in 1900 less than 50 per cent, of the colored population were illiterate, the offi- 
cial who sends the report writes as follows : "There are about 450 Negro convicts 
in the Mississippi penitentiary; about half are wholly illiterate. Of the other half 
less than ten per cent, have anything like a fair education." In other words, in 
this very state, where Negro education is pronounced a failure, the literate Ne- 
groes furnish a smaller proportion of criminals than the illiterate, and not even 
those literate Negro criminals are really fairly educated. Similar testimony 
comes from other states. In North Carolina the illiterate Negroes of the state 
furnished 40 per cent, more criminals, according to number, than the Negroes who 
could both read and write. In South Carolina, where the census of 1890 gives the 
Negro literates as constituting 47.2 per cent, of the entire race in the state, the 

♦Editorial in the Outlook, Jan. 30, 1904, pp. 246-7. 



18 NINTH ATLANTA CONFERENCE 

penitentiary superintendent estimates that only 25 per cent, can both read and 
write. In Georgia more than 60 per cent, of the Negro convicts are illiterate, 
while of the total Negro population only 47.6 per cent, are illiterate. In Alabama 
the illiterates among the Negro criminals are reported as about 70 per cent, while 
the illiteracy of the total colored population is only 57.4 per cent. This means 
that in that state the Negroes who cannot read and write furnish about 30 per 
cent, more criminals, in round numbers, than the Negroes who have had school 
advantages. It is to be remembered that the figures for illiteracy now are not 
quite so bad as they were ten years ago; and therefore the figures quoted do not 
make the facts in confutation of Governor Vardaman's theories appear as strong 
as they really are. 

There is no doubt that the common schools for Negroes sorely need improve- 
ment; but even as they are, it is clear that these schools are factors for law, or- 
der and morality. 

The following diagram illustrates the facts as to illiteracy and crime 
for Negroes in the United States, 1890: 



POPULATION 



Literate, 42.996 I Illiterate, 57.1% 



Literate, 88.9 I Illiterate, 61.1% 



PRISONERS 



So much has been said and written on the subject of lynching that it 
is necessary here simply to add the usually received statistics on the 
subject, collected by the Chicago Tribune [see page 19]. 

5. Crime in Cities (by Monroe N. Work, A. M.). Let us now turn 
from the bare and partially misleading census figures to a considera- 
tion of other sources of information. The best sources available are 
the reports of crime in various cities together with a few states. In 
these places the longest periods of time for which data were available 
have been taken. Whenever possible, the number of prisoners received 
in jails, workhouses, and penitentiaries during specified periods of time 
have been taken. The distinction between arrests and convictions has 
been maintained. An analysis of crimes and offenses has also been 
attempted to see if particular crimes or offenses are increasing or de- 
creasing. It is recognized that the liability to make errors has not 
been eliminated, but it is hoped that the method of presenting the data 
and of interpretation has been such as to reduce the amount of error to 
a minimum. 

Negro crime is considered in three periods: prior to 1866-1867; from 
1887 to 1880; and from 1880 to 1903. Although the data for the first two 
periods are somewhat meager, it enables us, however, to gain some idea 
of the rate of these two periods. 



NEGRO CRIME 



19 



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20 



NINTH ATLANTA CONFERENCE 



No special comparison of the crime rates of whites and Negroes is 
made. It is recognized that the crime rate of the Negroes is greater 
than that of the whites. In 1900 the rate of Negro arrests and com- 
mitments was from one and a half to ten times greater than that of the 
whites. The correct method for a comparison of crime among the 
whites and Negroes would be to compare the crime rate of the Negroes 
with the crime rate of the corresponding class or stratum of the whites. 
This comparison would no doubt show much less difference in the 
respective crime rates than is shown when the crime rate of the Ne- 
groes as a whole is compared with that of the whites as a whole. Since 
it is not possible to make this comparison it is probably better, as has 
been done in this study, to consider Negro crime in its relation to the 
Negro population, recognizing that the peculiar conditions of the Ne- 
gro, past and present, tend to keep his crime rate high. Police arrests, 
jail, workhouse, and penitentiary commitments are respectively con- 
sidered. 

Police Arrests. Data were available for twenty representative North- 
ern and Southern cities. Nine of these follow in detail: 

Arrests per Thousand of Negro Population 



CITIES 


Negro popu- 
lation 1900 


1858 
A 


1867 
B 


1872 
C 


1875 
D 


1880 
E 


1885 
F 


1890 


New York 


60,666 
62,613 
86,702 
31,522 
28,090 
39,139 
14,482 
30,150 
35,516 


83 
150 


106 










82 


Philadelphia 

Washington 


94 


47 


69 

111 

90 

82 


65 

161 

50 

65 

129 
108 
274 
108 


80 
166 


Charleston 










70 


Savannah 








79 


75 


Louisville 








99 


Cincinnati 






163 

153 

80 


132 

226 
97 


106 
211 
134 


225 


Chicago 






387 


St. Louis 




64 


120 















u4— Philadelphia, 1864. 

B— St. Louis, 1869. 

C— Philadelphia, 1870. 

Z>— Savannah, 1874. 

2£— Washington, Savannah and St. Louis, 1881; Cincinnati, 1882. 

F— Louisville, 1884. 

In the chart which follows a more comprehensive view of Negro ar- 
rests in the above nine cities is given. The variation in the rate of 
each city and the difference in the various rates of the several cities, 
together with what appears to be the present tendency of Negro arrests, 
are shown. 

It appears from the following chart that, for New York and Phila- 
delphia, the only cities for which data prior to 1866 were available, as 
has been shown, the rate of Negro arrests per thousand of the Negro 
population was about as great, or greater, prior to 1866 than in 1902. 
The maximum of the rate for New York, 111, was reached in 1899; the 
rate for Philadelphia has at no time since been as great as it was in 
1864, 150. Statistics were available for Washington from 1881 to 1902. 
The rate of Negro arrests in 1881 was 111 ; in 1902, 169, and the maximum 
of the rate, 184, was reached in 1893. For Charleston we have data 
from 1880 to 1903. The rate of arrests in 1880 was 90, in 1903, 86, and 



NEGRO CRIME 



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22 NINTH ATLANTA CONFERENCE 

the maximum of the rate, 92, was reached in 1902. Statistics were 
available for Cincinnati from 1872 to 1902. The rate of Negro arrests in 
1872 was 163, in 1902, 186, and the maximum of the rate, 276, was reached 
in 1894. For Savannah we have data from 1874 to 1903. The rate of ar- 
rests in 1874 was 79, 1903, 143. The maximum of the rate of Negro ar- 
rests for Savannah, 165, was reached in 1898. Statistics were available 
for Chicago from 1872 to 1903. The rate of Negro arrests in 1872 was 
153, in 1903, 185. The maximum, 586, was reached in 1892.* Data were 
available for Louisville from 1884 to 1902. The rate of arrests in 1884 
was 129, in 1902, 93. The maximum was reached in 1884. Statistics were 
available for St. Louis from 1869 to 1902. The rate of arrests in 1869 was 
64, in 1902, 166; the maximum, 269, was reached in 1896. 

The arrest rate for each particular city shows more or less variation 
from year to year, the greatest variation being in the case of Chicago* 
which also for most of the time has had the highest arrest rate. The 
difference in the arrest rates of the various cities has also more or less 
of variation. In 1879-1882, with the exception of Chicago, a minimum 
of difference in the arrest rates of the various cities was reached. The 
maximum of difference, 511, in the arrest rates ,was in 1892. Taking 
the period from 1866 to 1882 it appears that at sometime during this 
period the arrest rate, with the possible exception of St. Louis, for 
each of the cities decreased. From 1882 to 1892-1896 there was, with 
some exceptions, a marked increase in the arrest rates of the several 
cities. This was especially true of Chicago, Cincinnati, Washington, 
and St. Louis. From 1892-1896 to 1902-1903 there appears to have been a 
general tendency for the Negro arrest rates of these cities to decrease. 
It appears that on the whole, we are warranted in concluding that for 
the nine cities considered the rate of Negro arrests per thousand of the 
Negro population is decreasing. 

> Twenty cities are next considered. They are classified according to 
locality into Northern and Southern cities. By such a classification 
we have eight Northern and, including Washington, Baltimore and 
St. Louis, twelve Southern cities. The period of time is from 1890 to 
1903. A comparison is made to see how the arrest rates of the cities of 
the two sections correspond in respect to variations in the individual 
rates of each city, the difference in the rates of the several cities of the 
two sections, and the tendency of the arrest rates to increase or de- 
crease; finally the cities of which section have the highest arrest rates. 

Two charts showing the comparison of police arrests in Northern and 
Southern cities follow [see pages 24 and 25]. 

: An inspection of the following charts shows that variation in the in- 
dividual rates of the Northern cities is greater than that of the South- 
ern cities, with the exception of St. Louis. In 1890 the difference in the 
arrest rates of the Northern cities, 327, between Indianapolis and Chi- 
cago, is greater than that of the Southern cities; but in 1901 the differ- 

*This being the year of the World's Fair, data cover the arrests of non-residents 
and are not therefore a measure of Chicago crime. 



NEGRO CRIME 



23 



-ence in the arrest rates of the Southern cities, £87, between Memphis 
and Atlanta is much greater than that of the Northern cities. In 1890 
the arrest rates for four of the Northern cities were greater than those 
of the Southern cities, while three of the Northern cities had lower 
rates than any of the Southern cities except Savannah. In 1902 four 
of the Northern and seven of the Southern cities had rates above 107. 
This would seem to indicate that at present the rates of arrests for 
Southern cities is probably greater than those for the Northern cities. 
Observing the rates of arrests for both sections, it is seen that in the 
Northern section there appears to be a notable tendency for the rates 
to decrease. In the Southern section the tendency, while not so 
marked, is also apparently toward a decrease. This would be more ap- 
parent if the rates of arrests for the Southern cities were shown for a 
longer period of time, as was the case for Washington, Charleston, 
Louisville, and St. Louis. 

Jail Commitments. — Data relating to jail commitments were available 
for three cities, Baltimore, Charleston, and St. Louis, and two states, 
Ohio and Michigan. Statistics for these cities and states follow: 

Jail Commitments per Thousand of the Negro Population for Certain Cities and States 



Year 


Baltimore 


Charleston* 


St. Louis 


Ohio 


Michigan 


1873 








5.3 




1874 










1875 












1876 








10 
9 




1877 








10 


1878 








14 


1879 








9 
9 

9 
9 


14 


1880 




42 
33 
32 
25 
24 
22 
21 
20 
31 




16 


1881 




15 
21 
14 
16 
14 
19 
18 
20 


12 


1882 






1883 






1884 






1885 




11 
11 


13 


1886 




13 


1887 




14 


1888 


57 


21 


1889 


69 


30 


19 




29 


1890 


58 


31 


18 




36 


1891 


57 


30 


24 




19 


1892 


56 


29 


23 




27 


1893 


59 


21 


27 




28 


1894 


59 


35 


29 




31 


1895 


56 


24 


28 




25 


1896 


52 


.26 


29 


15 


36 


1897 


60 




28 


12 


50 


1898 




28 
37 

40 

38 




14 


53 


1899 


55 
59 
65 




33 


1900 






32 


1901 


24 




23 


1902 




38 
34 




14 




1903 



















♦Jail commitments for Charleston Include those sentenced to the chain-gang and 
those sentenced to pay a fine or serve a short term in jail. 

By consulting the above table of statistics it is seen that in Baltimore 
during the year 1888 the rate of jail commitments was 57; in 1901 the 
rate was 65; the highest rate of commitments, 69, was in 1899. The rate 
of commitments for Charleston in 1880 was 42; in 1903 the rate was 34; 
the highest rate of jail commitments was in 1880. In St. Louis the rate 



24 



NINTH ATLANTA CONFERENCE 



/\OEST5 PER I00O OF NFG-TO POPULATION I8<?0-l<703 




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CHARLESTON + + - + +NEW ORLEANS©—* LOUISVILLE 

SAVANNAH MEMPHIS c^m si LOUIS 



26 



NINTH ATLANTA CONFERENCE 



of commitments for 1881 was 15; in 1901 the rate was 24; the highest 
rate of commitments, 29, was in 1894 and 1896. The rate of jail commit- 
ments for the state of Ohio was 5.3 in 1873; in 1902 the rate was 14; the 
highest rate of jail commitments, 15, was in 1896. In the state of Mich- 
igan the rate of jail commitments for 1877 was 10; in 1901 the rate of 
commitments was 23; the highest rate, 53, was in 1898. 

The rate of commitments for the cities of Baltimore and Charleston 
during the periods for which data were available do not appear to have 
varied very much. The rates of jail commitments for the city of St. 
Louis and the states of Ohio and Michigan appear to have varied con- 
siderably and are higher at the end than at the beginning of the peri- 
ods considered. Their rates of commitments are not as high at the end 
of the periods as during some of the previous years of the periods. It 
appears that at present the rates of jail commitments for the cities 
and states considered have increased slowlj 7 since the seventies until 
the nineties and now apparently are beginning to decrease slightly. 
The workhouse commitments show a similar tendency: 

Negro Workhouse Commitments per Thousand of the Negro Population for Certain Cities 



Year. 


Philadelphia 


Washington 


Cincinnati 


Louisville 


Chicago 


St. Louis 


1870 












16 


1871 












18 


1872 












20 


1873 










48 

58 


18 


1874 










29 


1875 






75 






1876 


54 
50 
45 
37 
32 
36 
38 
34 
34 
40 
47 
46 
36 
34 
40 
41 
43 
48 
50 
45 






62 
67 
63 
36 
33 
37 
43 
42 
48 
52 
41 
42 
46 
45 
46 
38 
49 
54 
64 
42 
44 
31 
25 
27 
31 
30 
24 




1877 








25 


1878 










1879 




39 






1880 








1881 


21 
23 






21 


1882 






26 








24 


1884 


22 
23 

24 
19 
26 
32 
38 
41 
44 
44 
42 
35 


37 
33 
33 


34 


26 


1885 


28 


1886 




31 


1887 


31 

28 
28 


33 


1888 


31 

41 

47 


28 


1889 


36 


1890 


26 


1891 


30 
31 
29 
46 
42 
31 
30 


25 


1892 


58 


23 


1893 


32 


1894 


70 
63 
58 
68 
71 
65 
57 
47 
50 


42 


1895 


38 


1896 


40 


1897 






36 


1898 








1899. . 




35 
31 

29 
30 


33 
31 

23 




1900 






1901 




23 


1902 




22 


1903. . 




30 

















Penitentiary commitments should be one of the best indexes of the ten- 
dencies of crime because here we have convictions for serious offenses. 
Some data were available for the States of Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, 
Illinois and Kansas, and the cities of Baltimore and Chicago. A 
chart showing the rates of Negroes committed annually to penitentia- 
ries follows: 



NEGRO CRIME 



27 




CJ> 



an 

CO «=*=: 

t 

+ 

? + 

i + 



o 






Per 

C3 



m 



co 



5 



_J ^2 



28 



NINTH ATLANTA CONFERENCE 



Observing the preceding chart it is seen that the period of time con- 
sidered is from 1873 to 1902. The rate of annual commitments per 
thousand of the Negro population for the state of Illinois in 1873 was 
1.7; the rate of annual commitments for Illinois in 1902 was 1.4; the 
highest rate of annual commitments for Illinois, 2.6, was in 1894. The 
rate of annual commitments to the state penitentiary of Illinois from 
the city of Chicago in 1873 was 4.4; in 1902 the rate was 1.6; the high- 
est rate of annual Negro commitments to the penitentiary from Chica- 
go was in 1873. The rate of annual Negro penitentiary commitments 
for the state of Michigan in 1880 was 1.0; in 1902 the rate was 0.8; 
the highest rate of annual Negro commitments to the penitentiary 
from the state of Michigan, 1.9, was in 1900. The rate of annual commit- 
ments to the penitentiary from the city of Baltimore in 1888 was 1.1; 
in 1902 the rate of annual penitentiary commitments from this city was 
1.3; the highest rate of annual penitentiary commitments from Balti- 
more, 2.0, was in 1899. The rate per thousand of the Negro population 
for the number of prisoners received in the Kansas penitentiary was 
available for four years as follows: in 1889 and 1890 the rate of annual 
Negro commitments to the Kansas penitentiary was 1.5; in 1891 and 
1892 the rate was 1.3. The rate per thousand of the Negro population 
for the number of prisoners received annually in the Indiana peniten- 
tiary was available for three years as follows: in 1900 the rate was 2.1; 
in 1901 the rate was 2.5; and in 1902 the rate was 2.0. The rates of an- 
nual commitments for Kansas and Indiana are given merely to show 
that these rates are about the same as those of the other states for the 
corresponding periods of time, and show the same tendencies of rate 
variation. With the exception of the Negro penitentiary commitments 
from Chicago there are no great individual variations in the rates from 
year to year of the Negro annual penitentiary commitments. This 
will be better seen in the following table in which the difference be- 
tween the lowest and the highest annual rate of penitentiary commit- 
ments is given for each of the above states and cities: 

The Difference between the Lowest and the Highest Annual Rate of Penitentiary Com- 
mitments in Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Kansas, Baltimore and Chicago 



STATES 

AND 

CITIES 


Highest rate 
annual 

commitments 


Lowest rate 

annual 

commitments 


Greatest dif- 
ference in the 
rate of annual 
commitments 


Michigan 

Indiana 

Illinois 

Kansas 

Baltimore . . . 
Chicago 


1.9 

2.5 
2.6 
1.5 
2.0 
4.4 


0.8 
2.0 
0.9 
1.3 
0.4 
1.2 


1.1 
0.5 
1.7 
0.2 
1.6 
3.2 



As has been shown, the rate of annual Negro penitentiary commit- 
ments for no one of the states or cities was as great in 1902 as at some 
previous date. Since 1894-1895 there appears to have been a continuous 
decrease in the rate of annual commitments for the state of Illinois 
and the city of Chicago ; and since 1898-1899 there has been a decrease 



NEGRO CRIME 



29 



in the rates of annual commitments for the states of Michigan and Illi- 
nois, and the cities of Baltimore and Chicago. This would seem to 
indicate that for the states and cities under consideration the rates of 
annual Negro commitments per thousand of the Negro population to 
the penitentiaries are not increasing, but on the other hand are proba- 
bly decreasing. 

Offenses, as is usually done, are classified as being against the person, 
property, society, etc. Offenses for which police arrests were made are 
first considered. Some data of this sort were available for the cities of 
Charleston and Savannah. For Charleston, offenses against the person 
only are given as follows : 



Number of Arrests for Offenses against the Person per Thousand of the Negro Popu= 

lation for Charleston, S. C. 

Number of Offenses per Thousand of the Negro Population by Years. 

1888 110 I 1897 I 1899 8.0 I 1901 10.7 

1896 10.0 I 1898. 9.0 | 1900 10.0 | 1902 10.9 



The above seems to indicate that in Charleston since 1888 the rate of 
yearly arrests per thousand of the Negro'population for offenses against 
the person has not increased. 

Classification of offenses against the person, property, and society 
for Negro police arrests of Savannah are next given. 



Number of Police Arrests for Offenses against the Person, Property, and Society, per 
Thousand of the Negro Population in Savannah 



Year 



Offenses against the person. 
Offenses against property. . . 
Offenses against society 



187U 



.07 
10.00 

68.00 



1877 



3.9 

7 



1881 



6.4 
7.00 
45.0067.00 



1886 



5.6 
5.00 

43 



1895 



0079 



10.00 
24.00 
.00 



1896 



13.00 
19.00 
66.00 



1897 



11.00 
22.00 
84.00 



1900 



16.00 

25.00 

110.00 



1901 



10.00 

23.00 

103.00 



1902 



9.00 

23.00 

111.00 



1903 



7.00 

21.00 

115.00 



From the above figures it is seen that the annual rates of arrests for 
offenses against the person increased from 1874 to 1900. Since 1900 
there has been a decrease in the rates of arrests for offenses both against 
the person and property. The rate of arrests for offenses against soci- 
ety has increased, but not constantly, from 1874 to 1903. 

It appears, from a consideration of the offenses for which arrests were 
made in Charleston and Savannah, that at present there does not seem 
to be any increase in the rate of arrests for offenses against the person. 
In Savannah since 1900 there has been a decrease in the rate of arrests 
for offenses against both the person and property. The rate of arrests 
for offenses against society has increased. This is due in part to more 
stringent legislation. 

The number of commitments per thousand of the Negro population 
to the penitentiary from Chicago for offenses against the person and 
property, and for the particular offense of homicide is shown in the ta- 
ble which follows: 



30 



NINTH ATLANTA CONFERENCE 



The Number of Penitentiary Commitments per Thousand of the Negro Population for Of- 
fenses against the Person, Property, and Homicide 





• 






Homicide 






Offenses 


Offenses 




YEAR 


Total commit- 


against 


against 








ments 


the per- 


property 


Manslaughter 








son 




mayhem 
murder 


Murder 


1873 


4.4 


.44 


3.9 


.22 


.22 


1874 


3.7 


.00 


3.7 


.00 


.00 


1875 


3.9 


.19 


3.7 


.00 


.00 


1876 


3.3 


.00 


3.3 


.00 


.00 


1877 


3.2 


.35 


2.8 


.17 


.17 


1878 


2.7 


.17 


2.5 


.16 


.16 


1879 


2.9 


.16 


2.7 


.00 


.00 


1880 


3.4 


.30 


3.0 


.15 


.15 


1881 


2.2 


.41 


1.8 


.27 


.14 


1882 


3.8 


.37 


3.4 


.37 


.24 


1883 


1.5 


.22 


1.3 


.11 


.00 


1884 


3.3 


.41 


2.8 


.20 


.21 


1885 


3.2 


.09 


3.2 


.09 


.00 


1886 


3.6 


.26 


3.4 


.18 


.09 


1887 


1.9 


.33 


1.5 . 


.08 


.00 


1888 


2.6 


.63 


1.9 


.39 


.00 


1889 


3.2 


.66 


2.6 


.22 


.14 


1890 


2.5 


.63 


1.8 


.14 


.07 


1891 


2.2 


.31 


1.9 


.12 


.00 


1892 


2.4 


.51 


1.8 


1 .28 


.11 


1893 


2.8 


.73 


2.0 


.36 


.15 


1894 


3.1 


.53 


2.5 


.24 


.09 


1895 


3.3 


.50 


2.8 


.31 


.27 


1896 


2.7 


.50 


2.2 


.21 


.21 


1897 


1.8 


.31 


1.5 


.19 


.15 


1898 


1.7 


.44 


1.2 


.18 


.04 


1899 


1.9 


.21 


1.6 


.03 


.03 


1900 


1.2 


.23 


0.9 


.16 


.09 


1901 


1.6 


.44 


1.2 


.31 


.19 



Observing the rate of penitentiary commitments for the different 
years for offenses against the person it is seen that the rate, .44, was the 
same in 1901 as in 1873. The highest rate of commitments for offenses 
against the person, .73, was in 1894. The rate of penitentiary commit- 
ments for offenses against property in 1873 was 3.9. In 1901 the rate of 
penitentiary commitments for offenses against property was 1.2; the 
highest rate of penitentiary commitments for offenses against property 
was in 1873. The rate of Negro penitentiary commitments for all kinds 
of homicide in 1873 was .22; in 1901 the rate of commitments for homi- 
cide was .31; the highest rate of commitments for homicide, .39, was 
in 1888. The rate of penitentiary commitments for murder in 1873 was 
.22; in 1901 the rate for murder was .19; the highest rate of commit- 
ments for murder, .27, was in 1895. 

It appears from a consideration of the offenses for which Negroes 
from Chicago were committed to the state penitentiary that: the 
rate of total commitments, as has already been pointed out, is decreas- 
ing; the rate of commitments for offenses against both the person and 
property and for homicide was less in 1901 than at times previous to 
this date ; the rate of commitments for murder appears to show a slight 
decrease. 

In order to secure further information respecting murder among Ne- 
groes, data from police reports of Charleston and Savannah are given. 



NEGRO CRIME 31 

The following figures are presented concerning arrests for murder in 
Charleston: 

Murder in Charleston 

Arrests for Murder by Years 

1888 3 1 1898 12 I 1900 13 

1896 4 I 1899 11 j 1901 6 

1902 12 

From the above it appears that the arrests for murder were much 
greater from 1898 to 1902 than they were in 1888 or in 1896. From 1898 to 
1902 there does not appear to have been very much variation in the 
number of annual arrests for murder in Charleston. We are not war- 
ranted in concluding, however, that the crime of murder has increased 
among Negroes in Charleston unless it can be shown that the number 
of murders committed have increased annually. Police reports tell us 
how many persons were arrested annually for murder, but usually, as 
in the case of the Charleston reports, do not inform us concerning how 
many murders were committed annually, nor how many persons were 
indicted for this offense. Some of the Savannah police reports are an 
exception in this respect, and give information respecting the number 
of murders committed annually. Data relating to murder by Savan- 
nah Negroes follow : 

Murder in Savannah 



YEAR 


Arrested 
for murder 


Held for 
murder 


Murders 
committed 


1874 




8 
8 
6 
5 




1895 




8 


1896 

1897 


18 
11 
16 
17 
6 
9 


6 
5 


1900 




1901 






1902 






1903 











Observing the above figures it is seen that the arrests for murder 
were greater in 1896 than in any of the subsequent years for which 
data were available. The arrests for murder during the years 1902 and 
1903 show a marked decrease under those for the previous years. The 
number held for murder in 1874 and in 1902 was the same and was 
greater than the number so held in 1896 and 1897. Since the number of 
murders committed by Negroes and the number of Negroes held for 
this offense appear to be the same for those years for which simultane- 
ous data were available, it is probable that the number of murders com- 
mitted by the Negroes of Savannah in 1874 was 8. The number of mur- 
ders committed annually during those years for which data were avail- 
able does not appear to vary much and what variation there is appears 
to be toward an absolute decrease. Since there is also somewhat of an 
absolute decrease in the arrests for murder, it appears that we are 
warranted in concluding that the crime of murder is decreasing among 
the Negroes of Savannah. While there appears to have been this ab- 
solute decrease in the number of murders committed annually by Ne- 



32 NINTH ATLANTA CONFERENCE 

groes in Savannah during this time, i. e., from 1874 to 1903, the Negro 
population of the city increased 114 per cent. 

Summarizing our results it is seen that police arrests, jail, workhouse 
and penitentiary commitments appear to have increased during the 
period from 1890 to 1892-1896. The highest rates of arrests and commit- 
ments were about 1893. Since 1894-1896 the tendency of both arrests 
and commitments to decrease has been notable. The crime rate for 
murder is also probably decreasing. It appears, therefore, that the 
conclusion that crime is probably decreasing among the Negroes of the 
United States is warranted. The crime rate of Negroes, North and 
South, appears at present to be about the same, although the rate of 
police arrests for some Southern cities is higher than that for the 
Northern cities. The claim that there is greater criminality among 
the Negroes of the North than those of the South is probably not true. 
The fallacy on which this claim was based was in comparing the crim- 
inal rate of the Negroes of the North who live almost entirely in cities 
with the criminal rate of the Negroes of the entire South, the great ma- 
jority of whom live in rural communities. 

6. Crime in Georgia. The Prison Commission. *The second annual re- 
port of the Georgia Prison Commission says : 

Previous to the year 1812, all criminals were punished by hanging, branding, 
public whipping, or imprisonment in the common jails. In that year the General 
Assembly remodeled the penal code, making most felonies punishable by confine- 
ment and hard labor, and to carry these new laws into effect appropriated money 
to build a penitentiary, or State prison. In 1817 this institution was completed, its 
location being at Milledgeville, then the capital of the State, and the new system 
was inaugurated and continued in effect until 1868. During this period, except 
the three years immediately following the Civil War, the prison population never 
exceeded two hundred in number, all white, the Negroes who were slaves not 
being amenable to the law, except for murder and other heinous offenses. These 
convicts were engaged in manufacturing for State account.* 

A curious light is thrown on the attitude of the State toward crime 
when it is said, in regard to the Milledgeville State Prison, that the in- 
stitution "was a financial failure. For support and maintenance $520,- 
000 was appropriated at different times above the income from its manu- 
facturing enterprises, or more than $10,000 per annum net loss to the 
State." 

After the war the number of convicts rapidly increased ; the prison 
population has been : 



♦From 2nd annual Report of the Prison Commission of Ga., 1899, p. 3. 



NEGRO CRIME 
Prison Population, by Years 



33 



DATE 



April 1, 1879. 
October 
October 
October 
October 
October 
October 
October 1 
October 1 
October 1 
October 1 
October 1 
October 1 
October 1 
October 1 
October 1 
October 1 
October 1 



1880. 
1882. 
1884. 
1886. 
1888. 
1890. 
1892. 
1893. 
1894. 
1895. 
1896. 
1897. 
1898. 
1899. 
1900. 
1901. 
1902. 



June 1, 1904. 



White 


Male 


Female 


120 


1 


114 


1 


112 


1 


125 


1 


148 


1 


149 





168 





194 


2 


185 


2 


189 


2 


213 


1 


192 


1 


196 


1 


239 


2 


245 


3 


255 


3 


252 


6 


252 


5 


249 


7 



Negro 



Male 



1,078 
1,041 
1,100 
1,218 
1,337 
1,336 
1,478 
1,690 
1,917 
2,069 
2,144 
2,098 
1,981 
1,941 
1,885 
1,825 
1,908 
1,978 
1,973 



Female 



31 
30 
30 
33 
41 
52 
42 
54 
64 
68 
66 
66 
57 
55 
68 
75 
79 
80 



Total 



1,230 
1,186 
1,243 
1,377 
1,526 
1,537 
1,694 
1,940 
2,186 
2,328 
2,424 
2,357 
2,235 
2,228 
2,201 
2,258 
2,245 
2,315 
2,315 



YEAR 


To'tal 

Negro 

convicts 


No. per 1,000 
of Negro pop- 
ulation 


1879 

1880 

1882 

1884 

1886 

1888 

1890 

1892 

1893 

1894 

1895 

1896 

1897 

1898 

1899 

1900 

1901 

1902 

1904 


1,109 
1,071 
1,130 
1,251 
1,378 
1,388 
1,520 
1,744 
1,981 
2,137 
2,210 
2,164 
2,038 
1,996 
1,953 
1,900 
1,987 
2,058 
2,059 


1.54 

1.47 
1.50 
1.60 
1.71 
1.66 
1.76 
1.95 
2.17 
2.29 
2.33 
2.24 
2.07 
1.99 
1.92 
1.83 
1.88 
1.92 
1.78 



It will be seen that serious crime is thus shown to have increased in 
Georgia up until 1895 and in the last ten years has been continually de- 
creasing. The curve formed by these figures is characteristic of Negro 
crime throughout the nation, viz: an increase until about 1893-95 and a 
subsequent decrease. 

The Prison Commission, however, taking no account of the large in- 
crease in Negro population, says:* 

It was natural to expect that immediately after his emancipation, and his eleva- 
tion to citizenship, with its consequent burdens for which he was wholly unfitted, 
that the Negro would furnish a much larger proportion of criminals than his 
white neighbors, who for centuries had enjoyed the blessings of freedom and ed- 
ucation. But it was to be expected that, after forty years of freedom and educa- 
tion, when his illiteracy has been reduced from 100 per cent, to 50 per cent., that 
his criminal record would begin to decrease. Such expectations, however, have 



*7th Report. 



34 NINTH ATLANTA CONFERENCE 

not been realized, to the distinct disappointment of his friends, who to-day find 
him more criminal than when he possessed no education whatever, and who nat- 
urally wonder if his education has not been a mistake. 

The premise is of course an error — Negro crime has decreased, and is 
decreasing. The absolute number of criminals on the other hand has 
increased, and as there was soon no room at Milledgeville for the large 
number of convicts the convict lease system was begun, convicts being 
leased at $10-$25 per capita from 1866-1874. In 1876 the lease was made 
for 20 years : 

This lease was made by Governor Smith to three companies, who, under the law 
authorizing the lease, became corporations, known respectively as Penitentiary 
Companies Nos. 1, 2, and 3. No. 1 was composed of the following persons: Jos. E. 
Brown, Julius L. Brown, John T. and Wm. D. Grant, and Jacob W. Seaver; No. 2, 
B. G. Lockett, John B. Gordon, L. A. Jordan, and W. B. Lowe; and No. 3, Wm. D. 
Grant, John W. Murphy, W. W. Simpson, Thos. Alexander, and John W. Renfroe. 
The price to be paid was $25,000 per annum, irrespective of the number of con- 
victs. There were, on April 1, 1879, when this contract went into effect, 1,230 con- 
victs of all classes. This contract continued in force until April 1, 1896. 

The act of 1897 arranged a new system. This t is the same convict 
lease system as before, with the following changes : 

1. Increasing amount paid for convict labor from $25,000 a year to 
$225,000, the price being settled by bidding of contractors. 

2. The placing of State deputy wardens and physicians in charge of 
the various camps and stockades. 

3. The adoption of a uniform set of rules as to diet, clothing and 
housing of laborers and their hours of labor. 

4. The providing of a State farm for some of the women, boys and 
old men. 

The objections to this system are manifest: 

1. It still makes the income from crime rather than the reforma- 
tion of the criminal of paramount importance. Special stress is laid in 
each report of the Prison Commission on this income; the system "is 
self-sustaining and nets the State large sums of money annually."* In 
1899 the State received $25,000. In 1900, $61,826.82. From 1901 to 1903 the 
net income was about $81,000 a year. In 1904 new contracts were made : 

The contracts so made will bring into the State Treasury annually, for a period 
of five years, beginning April 1st, 1904, the gross sum of $340,000.00 and after de- 
ducting the necessary expenses of this department estimated at $115,000.00 will 
leave a net amount of $225,000.00 per annum, which, under the law, will be divided 
among those counties not using convict labor upon their public roads, according 
to population, to be used for school or road purposes as may be determined by 
their respective grand juries 

The magnificent increase in the result of these contracts, over those of 1898, 
which have just expired, is not due alone to the natural increase in the value of 
this labor, but to several other causes, deserving mention. + 

*5th annual Report, Prison Commission. +7th Report, do. 



NEGRO CRIME 35 

2. The effectiveness of the State control of convicts is lessened be- 
cause : 

There are 25 separate institutions at which convicts, not on the public roads, 
are confined and employed. Twenty-nine road camps, in different counties, be- 
sides 40 misdemeanor chaingangs, making a total of 94 separate institutions, con- 
taining over 4,000 convicts, which should be rigidly inspected every month.* 

Besides the inspectors there are the regular deputy wardens and 
guards who must be furnished. The Prison Commission itself says: 

The most serious objection to the present system is the division of responsibil- 
ity for the care and protection of the convicts, there being at present nineteen 
deputy wardens in charge of as many prisons, thereby increasing the chances for 
acts of neglect or ill treatment, which will sometimes occur in even the best of 
penal systems. t 

The Negro convicts were engaged in work in 1901 as follows : 

Sawmilling 487 convicts 

Turpentine farming 367 " 

Brickmaking 807 " 

Farming 291 " 

Mining 290 " 

1,742 

Of all the 2,315 convicts in the penitentiary in 1904: 

594 had life sentences .25.65% 

234 " sentences of 20 years and over 10.10% 

164 " " " 15-20 years 7.08% 

336 " " " 10-15 years 14.51% 

987 " " " 1-9 years 42.63% 

Besides the penitentiary convicts there were in Georgia in 1902: 

Two thousand two hundred and twenty-one misdemeanor convicts undergoing 
punishment in county chaingangs, of which 103 are white males, 5 white females, 
2,010 colored males and 103 colored females. 

Thirty-two of these chaingangs, with an aggregate of 965 convicts, are worked 
for private individuals, in most cases contrary to the provisions of law. Thirty- 
three chaingangs, with an aggregate of 1,256 convicts, are worked on public roads 
or other public works. 

The Commission has endeavored during the past year to give all of these gangs 
more frequent and rigid inspections, .... and this work has been produc- 
tive of much improvement in their general condition, but many abuses continue 
to exist, especially in those gangs worked for private individuals, and always will 
exist, more or less, as long as the care and maintenance of the convicts are farmed 
out illegally to private individuals. J 

In 1904 there were 1,964 of these misdemeanor convicts. 

Georgia has no State reformatory; two counties (those in which At- 
lanta and Augusta are situated) have local reformatories for white 
children, but none for Negroes. 

7. Crime in Georgia. Special Reports. About 100 reports on the gen- 
eral criminal outlook among Negroes in Georgia were received by the 
conference. Reports were requested from every chief of police in the 
State and from various county officials, and a number responded. The 
following reports are from white officials and white citizens: 

*7th annual Report, Prison Commission. +5th Report, do. flbid. 



36 



NINTH ATLANTA CONFERENCE 



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38 NINTH ATLANTA CONFERENCE 

Some comments are : 

Brunswick — Mayor. I think the number of criminals for the present year is about 
the same as in former years, but the class of crime committed in our vicinity is of a 
minor nature. We have very few cases of a serious character during the year. 

Sandersville — Ordinary. I regret to say that crime among the Negroes of the 
county has greatly increased since emancipation of 1865. 

Dawson — Mayor. Crime among the Negroes of my town and county is de- 
creasing proportionally, that is while there may be as many cases or possibly 
more the increase in population makes the proportion less. This is due to a better 
understanding in our community between the races, caused by education. In our 
county we have many Negroes who own their farms and are out of debt, and be- 
sides have good balances to their credit in the banks. This seems to be an inspi- 
ration to the better class of Negroes to buy and save something. Whenever you 
hear of trouble between the races, as I see it once in a while, if you will investi- 
gate it is started by the low and uneducated Negro or white man or both. 

Summerville (Augusta) — Intendant. We have a village of only 5,000 people 
and comparatively few criminal cases. Most of these are for infractions of minor 
laws, usually disorderly conduct of some kind, although since we have declined to 
allow the storekeepers to sell liquor, even these offenses occur seldom. The ma- 
jority of these cases, however, come from the Negro population and mostly the idle 
and vicious class of this race. I am glad to say, however, that the great majority of 
our Negro population are very respectable and orderly, and give us little if any 
trouble. 

Grantville — Mayor. The amount of crime at this place among the Negroes is, 
I am sorry to say, alarming. Yet it is not of a heinous or such character that will 
excite the public to open indignation or unlawful violence. It is mostly of small 
petty crimes. I have it from reliable authority from their own statement that 
there have been more children born to the women out of wedlock than there have 
been by those who are married in this immediate section. The cause, I think, is 
that they employ teachers whose character is in keeping with the above statement. 

Thomasville — Mayor. There is about the normal and usual amount of crime 
committed in our town and county among the Negroes. In the last few years 
there has been no perceptible increase or decrease- The Negroes in the country 
who are engaged in farming and agricultural pursuits are generally peaceable, or- 
derly and law abiding. Those engaged in mill work and naval stores operation are 
principally composed of transient labor, and their chief criminal vice seems to be 
gambling among themselves and skipping their employers after obtaining ad- 
vances upon promises of labor. Homicides are occasionally committed by them, 
growing generally out of a gambling game or jealousy over and about some woman. 
In the towns there is a small per cent, of the Negroes who are enterprising and 
valuable citizens ; the number is so small in proportion to the other class that they 
do not always in the matter of public regard receive the credit they are entitled to. 

Sterling — Constable. We had two boys arrested, both colored, for brick-batting 
a colored woman in her house. They were sent to the chaingang for 12 months 
each. Two white men were sent to the chaingang for 12 months each, one for vio- 
lating the game law, the other for selling whisky without a license. One col- 
ored man came here from South Carolina to hire hands; he was arrested and fined 
$50 and cost. He paid out. One colored man was arrested for stealing a dog ; he 
was fined $50 and costs, and went to the chaingang for 12 months. 

Tennille — Mayor. We have very little crime in Washington county among the 
Negroes, and as you know this is a large Negro county, yet they are remarkably 



NEGRO CRIME 39 

well behaved. I have very few cases in my police court. No Negro has ever been 
killed in this county by a white man within my recollection. No lynchings have 
ever occurred here. 

Metter. — In reply to your request, will say the crimes are enormous in every re- 
spect. The most crimes committed here are by our supposed-to-be-educated Ne- 
groes. In court they are treated better than they deserve. 

Crawford. — My observation is that the Negro is having his head educated and 
that his heart is sadly neglected in the home circle ; the old Negro tells you plainly 
that his training was much better (not his education) than that of the rising gen- 
eration of Negroes ; he knows his place, keeps it, and is a good citizen. 

Eastman. — In reply will say that in all the criminal courts of this county we 
have about fifty convictions annually, mostly minor offenses, simple larceny^ etc. 
They all have a fair trial by white jury; in felony cases they have an impartial 
trial; even in cases of rape we give them a speedy justice, hanging them to the 
first tree if they committed the act. The Negroes of this county are peaceable 
and are doing well. 

Greenville. — It seems to me that crime among the Negroes, particularly petty 
crime, is on the increase among them. Many of them are tried in the courts for 
this class of crime, and as a rule, I think, have fair and impartial trials. It is also 
common for homicides to occur among them, especially on occasions when they 
have public gatherings. These usually result after indulgences in liquor and 
gambling, which the vicious element are inclined to pursue at any function, relig- 
ious or social. 

Turin. — Intemperance (the love of whiskey) and immorality are the most prev- 
alent crimes among the Negroes in this community. 

Putnam. — There is no perceptible increase of crime among colored people in 
Schley county. It has been many years since a trial for murder. Crimes are gen- 
erally misdemeanors, gambling, selling liquor, fights at Saturday night entertain- 
ments, an occasional case for bastardy, seduction, and for stealing little things. I 
am inclined to the belief that there is a tendency to a decrease of crime. 

Hephzibah.— I think crimes of serious nature are on the decrease, some petty 
crimes are brought into court in the rural districts. Those mostly occurring in 
this section are fighting among themselves. 

Yatesville. — The crimes committed are almost all petty larceny. I know of no 
case in the county where he has not had a fair trial. 

Whitehall. — There is very little crime committed in this portion of the county ; 
the crimes, when any, are for simple larceny as a rule. They get fair treatment 
in this town and county. 

Thomaston. — As far as I can see and learn crime among the Negroes in this city 
is considerably reduced on account of not being able to get the use of whiskey as 
easily as they once did. This is a prohibition town, and therefore we are not 
troubled with a great deal of crime either among the whites or blacks. 

Austell. — The Negroes of this town are as a rule law-abiding. Their weakness 
is the love of liquor and some petty stealing, which is their nature. 

LaGrange. — Fully 95 per cent, of criminals in our county are Negroes. Crime seems 
to be on the increase with them. Larceny is the principal crime. I think they are 
fairly treated in our courts. 

Ft. Gaines.— Crime among the Negroes of our community has been for several 
years on the decrease. An examination of our court records reveals this fact to 
the credit of the race. The violations of law are for the most part of a petty char- 



40 



NINTH ATLANTA CONFERENCE 



acter, such as gambling, assault and battery, and carrying concealed weapons. 
The latter is the crying evil of the day, and the white people are equally guilty 
with the Negroes. The things which in my mind tend most to debauch the Negro 
are his propensity for strong drink, and the disposition to disregard marital vows. 
As a rule Negroes in our county seem to appreciate the educational advantages 
offered them, and in a large degree avail themselves of these opportunities. I've 
noticed a lack of efficiency of the teachers, and in many cases lack of character as 
well. This is deplorable and hurtful, and should in some way be remedied, and I 
suppose will in course of time. 

Nearly all the white officials thought that Negroes were justly treated 
in the courts. This is often stated in the South, but once in a while 
Southern white testimony is frankly on the other side; for instance at 
the last meeting- of the Southern Educational Convention, u two state- 
ments, perhaps, created the deepest impression. The first was made 
by Dr. Sherer of South Carolina, who acknowledged that the criminal 
courts meted out even justice in but one instance — in the case of Negro 
vs. Negro." 

To these reports may be added the reports of Negroes. In each case 
these Negroes are men above the average of intelligence and reliability 
in their communities. They report crime as follows: 

REPORTS FROM NEOROES 



TOWN 



Pendergrass .... 

Stirling 

Grantville 

Dawson 

Lyerly 

Sandersville 

Leesburg 

Greenviile 

Calhoun 

Leesburg 

Dahlonega 

Gordon 

Pearson 

Waynesboro. . . . 

Elberton 

Dalton 

Adrian 

Hoschton 

Statham 

Tallapoosa 

Jefferson 

Toccoa 

Morgan . . . : 

Shady Dale 

Oordele 

Harmony Grove 

Flintstone 

Mcintosh 

Turin 

Newnan 



COUNTY 



Jackson 

Glynn 

Coweta 

Terrell 

Chattooga 

Washington 

Lee 

Meriwether 

Gordon 

Lee 

Lumpkin 

Wilkinson 

Coffee 

Burke 

Elbert 

Whitfield 

Johnson 

Jackson 
Jackson 

Haralson 

Jackson 

Habersham 

Calhoun 

Jasper 

Dooly 

Jackson 

Walker 

Butts 

Coweta 

Coweta 



AMOUNT 



Great deal 



Little crime 



Little crime 
Little crime 
Little crime 



Little crime 



Little crime 



Little crime 

Little crime 

Little crime 

Very small 
Great deal 
Very little 



Very little 



INCREASE 

OR 

DECREASE 



Increase 

Same 

Increase 

Decrease 

Decrease 

Decrease 

Decrease 

Increase 

Decrease 

Decrease 

Decrease 

Decrease 

Decrease 

Increase 

Same 

Decrease 

Same 

Decrease 
Same 

Decrease 

Same 

Decrease 

Decrease 
Increase 
Decrease 
Decrease 
Decrease 
Increase 
Same 

Decrease 



REMARKS 



More than ever 



Stealing most prevalent 
Petty crimes increasing 
Gambling and carrying 

weapons 
Decreased in last 10 years 
No convictions in 2 years 
Decreased 15 per cent. 
Three crimes in 4 years 
Increasing in all crimes 

Only 2 in 5 months 
Larceny and selling 

whiskey 
50 per cent less in 1 year 
Petty crimes 
Decreased 40 per cent, in 

3 years 

Crime exceedingly below 

other counties 
Crime very small 
Rapidly increasing 
Rapidly decreasing 



More disorder 
Caused by "Blind Tigers" 
Becoming less and less 
every year 



NEGRO CRIME 



41 



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42 NINTH ATLANTA CONFERENCE 

Some comments follow : 

Sandersville. — The criminality of the race in this county is the least discour- 
aging thing, conviction being about 4 per cent, of the voting population. The 
majority of crimes for which they are convicted are small, a large percentage be- 
ing convicted for gambling, stealing, and disorderly conduct and very frequently 
for dealing in blind-tiger liquor. 

Brunswick. — The chief causes of crime among the Negroes here are drunken- 
ness, gambling, and sexual immorality. It is heart-breaking to see Negro women 
arraigned at every court for fighting about some other woman's husband; and I 
should not forget to mention that vagrancy among the Negro boys leads to stealing. 
There are now five boys m jail, all under fifteen, awaiting trial for burglary. 

Adairsville. — The general character of the Negro's crime is of a petty nature- 
theft, "blind tigers," fighting, saucing "Mars John," etc. He is decreasing in his 
amount of criminality, and whenever opportunity presents itself learns a trade 
or buys him a home and settles down to work out his destiny. I have noticed 
this in many instances. All he needs is a fair showing in life ; don't despair of 
him. ' 

Marshallville. — Our best men, white and colored, think with me that we have 
a very quiet community. There are very few arrests. One white man said to me 
a few days ago : "Why, we have no need of a guard house." This is true. There 
has certainly not been a man in prison since Christmas. Causes : No whiskey ; 
good schools. Of course, it is not a model community, there are evils of which 
we are ashamed. I think there is some gambling, but I am told by men who know 
that this crime is practiced by a vagrant class of men and boys who do not belong 
in the community. The whites tell me that these men cannot read and write and 
that they play cards for amusement. When they think the officers are after them 
they run to another settlement. This crime is most prevalent in peach season. 

But the crime which is really hurting the community more than any other is 
sexual immorality between the races. It is of such a nature that the local courts 
cannot well handle it, and Negroes have not the courage to condemn it. 

I am sure, however, this crime is not increasing. Within the past twenty years 
there have been changes for good along this line ; still the subtle influence of this 
immorality is felt in many ways. 

Causes : Poor wages and love of dress, influence of Negro preachers, lack of 
home training. In some portions of the county, whiskey is sold and the natural 
results follow — murder, stealing, drunkenness and gambling, and the county jail 
is, of course, well filled. 

. I venture to give the information, but urgently insist that my 

name not be given publicity, because I am working in a bloody and oppressive 
county, and do not desire to leave by undue force because of family and business 
relations. Crime is rapidly increasing; blind-tigers, petty theft, concealed weap- 
ons, church disturbances. In some parts of this county absolute slavery reigns ; 
men and women are whipped and driven cruelly from before the dawn until dark. 
There are men whose fines are paid and are worked at the rate of $4.50 per month. 
Negroes must invariably settle by books kept by men who furnish* them. Some of 
them with four in family make from 12 to 16 bales and fall in debt at end of year. 
An attempt to leave means to have corn and a clean sweep made and spurious 
warrants and sometimes an unmerciful beating. There are many Negroes who 
have lived on the same place 10 to 12 years and never been given their rent 
note nor a final settlement, and they are afraid to ask for either or to leave. Of those 

♦"Furnish," i. e., supply goods to them on credit. 



NEGRO CRIME 43 

who furnish Negroes, six out of nine confine them to bacon, meal, some flour, and 
strenuously object to buying sugar or too much dress. One white man in this 
county who had the oversight of sixty plows would go to the store, buy things for 
his own house and have them charged to one or the other hand's account. Social 
equality is forced in many places, but due to white men. 

McIntosh. — It seems to me that there is more disorder hereabouts than formerly. 
Certainly in this immediate vicinity for the past five years there has been less 
safety than previously, as far as my knowledge extends. But affairs have im- 
proved somewhat of late. 

Newnan. — Crimes of all kinds among Negroes are becoming less every year. The 
number of criminals in our courts this year is not half as large as that of last year. 
Our police court has had little to do this year, and were it not for the idlers and 
those inclined to gamble and run "blind tigers," it might be only a court in 
name. Our people are not inclined to theft as in past years. Most of the crimes 
are misdemeanors and arise from assaults of various kinds. 

Pendergrass. — The amount of crime among the Negroes of my town is more 
than ever was known before — such as gambling and killing, and a good number of 
the law-breakers are bonded out of jail, and the court allows a lot of them to be 
paid out and they are made slaves of by the big men of our county. So far as justice 
being given the Negroes in court, why they never get that. 

Knoxville. — The criminal Negro in this county is the gang-laborer Negro, who 
gets employment on large plantation farms, sawmills and turpentine distilleries, 
where they are led and controlled by influences which are oftentimes far from be- 
ing good. But Negroes may be found in most every rural district or community 
on their own farms, or on farms absolutely under their control, prospering. Such 
Negroes are as law-abiding citizens as can be found in the world. 

Athens. — The primary cause of so much crime is drunkenness and ignorance. 
The state of affairs among our young men is alarming. The boys leave school be- 
tween the ages of twelve and fifteen years, and they drift out into the world and 
learn to gamble, drink whiskey, and all other low vices. I have a boy about thir- 
teen. At one time there were twenty boys in his class, and now there are only 
two. Many boys seem to be retrograding morally. They feel that it is just as high 
an honor to marry a deluded woman as a virtuous one. Seven marriages of that 
kind have occurred since Christmas in our town. 

Montezuma. — The clerk of the superior court informed me that 98 per cent, of 
the criminals were totally illiterate. It is seldom that an educated Negro gets 
into trouble. 

These men were asked especially as to justice in the courts. 

Fort Valley. — The persons whom I asked, seemed to think that the Negro of 
this county received the regulation "Georgia justice" in the courts; that is, once 
accused, the Negro is guilty, especially so if the controversy is with a white per- 
son, and must prove himself innocent. 

Augusta. — It seems to me that so many Negroes are arraigned in the courts who 
are innocent apparently, that it is hard too, to answer the question as to the 
cause of crime. 

Marshallville. — I know of no special instance where Negroes have been 
treated unfairly in the courts, but I think the general understanding is that the 
white man's word goes before everything else. 

Baxley. — So far as a Negro is concerned, it matters not how good a law-abiding 
citizen he may be, or how intelligent he is, nor the amount of property he may 



44 NINTH ATLANTA CONFERENCE 

own and pay taxes on. He has no voice in the court house except as a witness or 
to be tried. 

Newborn. — Sorry to say that in our courts, a Negro's color is a brand of guilt. 
This refers to our county and circuit courts. Justice courts in rural districts are 
a mere farce. Justice to a Negro against a white man is less than a game of chance. 

Dawson. — During the August or adjourned term of the Superior Court of Ter- 
rell County 1902 one was charged with vagrancy. He was a barber by 

trade and ran a colored barbershop. One of the police on that beat fell out with 

him and swore out the above warrant. The said produced 85 men who 

swore that he shaved them from once to twice a week and cut their hair from 
once to twice a month, and that he sometimes did other work, such as putting 
down carpets, when called upon. The trial judge declared that he had never 
heard of Negroes shaving twice a week and did not believe any such thing : that 
that was as many times a week as the average white man shaved, and that 
the Negro's beard does not grow as fast nor come out as fast as white men's and 
therefore he doubted the veracity of the witnesses. The case was compromised 
by the said paying the sum of $65. 

At the November term of the Superior court held in Dawson, 1903, a boy 14 years 
of age was charged of helping a man or tenant steal cotton seed from his landlord. 
The man had pleaded guilty at the August term of the City Court and had been 
fined $100 or one year on the gang. The fine was paid by the landlord and the 
man was kept on the place. The boy refused to plead guilty and appealed his 
case to the Superior Court. The grand jury found a true bill and he was tried at 
the November term of court. At the trial the man who pleaded guilty swore 
that he was a cropper and worked on halves and that the boy and his father lived 
about three miles from him and that he learned that the boy was to be sent to 
town early the next morning and that he had gone to the old man who was a 
cripple and asked him to let the boy come by his home and carry a package to 
town for him and the boy's father consented as it was not much out of the way. 
He swore that he had the cotton seed sacked and out by the roadside when the boy 
came along and that he (the man) put them on the wagon and told the boy to sell 
them and bring him the money. He did as he was told. He also swore that the 
boy did not know whether he had stolen the seed or not nor where he had gotten 
them. The boy's parents swore to the same facts. The boy was found guilty and 
sentenced to twelve months in the " gang." 

At the August term of the city court in Dawson, 1903, there were twenty-five 
young men convicted of gambling on the evidence of one who was excused be- 
cause he turned state's evidence. He is known as a spotter. When he admitted 
his guilt the solicitor got up and recommended him to the judge as a hard work- 
ing Negro, whom he knew, and who had worked for him on his place. He was 
excused with only a nominal fine. The other twenty-five received sentences rang- 
ing from $30 to $75 and from six to twelve months on the gang. 

In the Americus city court, April term, 1904, one X borrowed $2 and agreed 

to pay $3 for the same by working it out when called upon to do so. Before Y , 

from whom he borrowed the money, was ready for him or called for him, he was 
working out another debt which he had contracted with another party. He could 
not go to Y just at the time wanted. Y swore out a warrant for cheat- 
ing and swindling and sent X up for eight months on the "gang." 

Sylvania.— They have no voice in court. They are not treated fair in the courts 
at all. 

Thomaston. — The criminals do not, in my judgment, at all times have fair and 
impartial trials. Yet they are treated as fair as the average Negro in the South. 



NEGRO CRIME 45 

Jewell. — The subject is a young man of the little town in which I teach. Christ- 
mas this young man shot a boy, for which crime he has not been punished. Of 
course every body in the town knows that he is a desperate character, and that he 
can give no cause for the crime of which he is surely guilty. And yet when tried 
in court he was released. 

The criminal is a servant for one of the wealthiest families in the county, and 
of course they did their best to prevent his being brought to justice in the county 
court. The Negro was arrested and taken to court for trial, and as plain as the 
case was all the so-called best white people of the little town of Jewell met at 
Sparta on court day and through their influence the jurymen were bribed, and the 
result was that a verdict of not guilty was brought out by the jurymen, even when 
they knew that he was a murderer. Now, I think the court did the very worst 
thing that could have been done for the young man. By all means justice should 
have been meted out to him, not so much for his own salvation as for that of many 
others who will certainly be influenced by his example. 

I know of three other cases where the criminals failed to receive justice in the 
courts, simply because they rendered good service to white people as servants. 

My opinion is that the white man who makes himself a protection for the Ne- 
gro's crime in one instance is simply encouraging crime in all directions. 

My experience is that much of the crime among Negroes arises from the corrupt 
way in which the courts some times deal with criminals. Either one Negro of 
a certain town has been punished innocently and the others revolt, or one has not 
been punished for the crime he did commit, and so many others are encouraged 
to commit worse crimes. 

Athens. — The races in this section work very harmoniously together, and I 
know of no instance where the courts have not dealt justly with the Negro. As a 
whole, one of the worst faults the Negro has is the concealment of crime, no mat- 
ter how low the crimes are. An intelligent, law-abiding citizen in this section gets 
the full benefit of the law. 

Montezuma. — In some cases even-handed justice is meted out to both races alike. 
But in many cases the white man uses his power to dethrone justice. 

Sasser— As to their treatment in the courts of my county, I can without hesita- 
tion say there is some partialty shown. Do not let it be publicly known that I said 
we are illegally treated, that is, that we do not have a fair trial in every instance 
in the courts of my county. It would cause me to have enemies among the whites, 
and they perhaps might set snares for me. 

Claxton. — I haven't found out definitely how they are treated in the courts. I 
can safely say they are tried by white juries, white lawyers and white judges, so 
you can judge. 

Wadley. — I don't visit the county courts, but as far as I can learn and read in the 
papers, Negroes don't stand any chance in them, and in our town before the mayor 
it is the same. 

Caenesville. — The Negro has very little rights here ; all the white man is after 
is the almighty dollar. Outside of that the Negro is no more thought of. 

Marietta. — All the officials and jurors are white, but considering the fact that 
our judge X has presided over the court for a number of years in a very im- 
partial manner, I feel that our criminal class here is very fairly dealt with. 

Calhoun. — To my knowledge Negroes are justly treated in the courts in this 
county. 

Kingston. — Now as far as courts are concerned, we do not believe that justice is 
altogether handed down to us. We believe that when a crime or crimes are com- 



46 NINTH ATLANTA CONFERENCE 

mitted that each court should do justice irrespective to creed, nationality, or color. 
We believe that the law should not only be enforced after election, but before as 
well. 

Waynesboro. — They are treated as a rule as all Southern courts treat the Negro. 

Shady Dale.— Last year a crowd of twenty went to arrest a Negro for a debt of 
$22. They found six Negroes gathered there for a hunt. The man they sought 
got away. The six Negroes arrested were fined from $60 to $120. The white men 
were upheld by the law ; yet they had no warrant and met no resistance. 

Vienna. — Of course, no one would expect the Negro to be dealt with justly in 
the courts. The judge, jury and lawyers are all whites, hence no sane man would 
believe that the Negro receives justice before such a prejudiced body. But so far 
as white men are concerned, I think the Negro is treated fairly well in the courts ; 
that is, as well as could be expected from white men. It would not be natural for 
such a race as the whites, that has the superior advantage, to give the Negro justice. 

Rome. — Our people as a rule get the worst of it in courts, according to my obser- 
vation. 

Abbeville. — I do not know how the Negro stands here in the courts, but I think 
he has a very poor chance since the jury down here is ignorant and full of prej- 
udice. ' 

Folkston. — We are doing very well here with the whites, only we are denied the 
right of jurymen on account of color. 

Geneva. — The case of a Negro always is committed, and if he hasn't got some 
white man on his side, he is gone to the "gang." 

Thomasville. — The courts, on the whole, here are inclined to give the Negro 
prisoners justice. In our last court 40 per cent, of the accused were acquitted. 
Some of the charges were very serious, but absence of sufficient evidence seemed 
to have been recognized by the jurors, who seemed impartial. 

Jasper. — In the fall of 1903 white folks treated the colored folks very badly by 
white capping. They dynamited and rocked several of the Negroes' houses in 
this county. You know the colored people don't get justice in the courts. 

Midville. — Justice is only measured out to him according to the views of that 
white man who is in favor of him. The Negro's word in the courts has but little 
weight. A Negro's word or justice to the Negro in the courts of my county de- 
pends largely upon his standing among his white friends. If a Negro has a case 
against a white man, it is generally held on docket until it becomes cold and 
thrown out. On the other hand, if a white man has a case against a Negro he is 
fined or imprisoned. 

Blairsville.— They are treated fairly well. They neither lynch nor take the lives 
of the Negro as they do further South, but we are slaves for them in a sense. 

Waco.— Of course they are not treated altogether fairly in the courts, for they 
have no colored jurors here. 

Crawford. — For the most part there is a decrease in the commission of crime. 
We think the manner in which the law is administered has much to do with the 
commission of crime on the part of the Negroes. A white man here can do almost 
anything wrong in violation of law; if a Negro is defendant in the case justice 
steers clear of the Negro's side. The crime for which Negroes are most strictly 
held to account is that of breaking contracts. They are invariably hunted for, and 
when found are hand-cuffed or tied with ropes, brought back, severely whipped ; 
now and then one is killed (self-defense or accidentally) and the murderer goes free. 
Negroes can run blind tigers, live in adultery and gamble on the plantation or 



NEGRO CRIME 47 

here in the town unmolested, but he must not miss a day from work. It did act- 
ually occur in this county that a white man killed a Negro at a Negro dance with- 
out provocation. He was never bothered about it. Some time afterwards the same 
white man took a mule from a white farmer. He was caught, tried, and convicted of 
horse stealing and sentenced to the chaingang. 

Jefferson. — There are from forty to fifty misdemeanor convictions a year in our 
courts. The major part of them get white men to pay their fines, for which they 
work double the time. These white men run kind of force labor farms. The 
Negroes' treatment in court is usually fair, as there is no indignant public senti- 
ment against these petty crimes. The offender, after his arrest, is generally taken 
by the arresting officer to some white man, who is the Negro's choice ; there a bond 
is made and the fellow put to work. When court convenes, the Negro and his em- 
ployer appear, and after some legal formality the offender is fined. The fine is 
paid and the criminal goes back to work. These Negroes are nuisances to the 
respectable Negroes of the communities. They often give much trouble at the 
churches and other public gatherings, with the boast "that captain so and so 
will stand to me in anything." I am not a pessimist, but owing to the demand 
of labor in this county and the means employed by the large land owners to secure 
it, I truly believe misdemeanor crimes are on the increase. 

Pendergrass. — The Negroes in general are in a bad shape here. There are about 
eighty criminals here out on bond, some for murder, some for selling whiskey, 
some for gambling, some for carrying concealed weapons, some for shooting, and 
most of them are guilty, too ; but their captain (i. e., employer,) takes their part in 
court. They generally pay about $25 and work the Negro from one and a half to 
two years, and the Negro never knows what it cost. Some that are guilty come 
clear, some not guilty are found guilty just the same, for they can only swear and 
make a statement. The whites trade in them like slavery times or like horses. 
Some get their rights and some don't. There is no justice in court for the 
Negro, except he has money, and they will make him lose it. 

Steam Mill. — The crime of the Negro is increasing. It is two-thirds greater 
than ever before. The cause of this is that they are given the full extent of the 
law on the weakest evidence. There is such a demand down in South Georgia for 
turpentine hands and sawmill hands that every man who has got a sawmill or a 
turpentine farm in the county is bribing the courts and the lawyers to convict the 
Negro regardless of the evidence of the crime, because he wants to buy him for 
his labor, for he can shoot and force him to labor. Therefore, 98 per cent, of the 
convicts of the county prison are made up of the Negro race. We have got more 
overseers and white bosses than we had forty years ago. 

Waynesboro. — They always get justice I believe when it is a Negro vs. a Negro, 
but when it is a white man vs. a Negro there seem at times to be some variations. 
This is putting it very mildly, too. 

Adairsville. — In reply to it, I will say that there is very little mercy shown the 
Negro in our circuit courts. There seems to be a premium placed on his convic- 
tion, however simple and light the charges may be. This I am at a loss to answer 
for, but as a general rule the pressure is upon him, and he generally gets defeated 
in the courts all the way from the district to circuit courts. Of course this depends 
on whom the Negro is in law with. If it is with another of his color, probably he 
may get justice; but if there is any chance for his color to figure in the matter, he 
is more than apt to meet squarely and promptly with sudden defeat. I have been 

a resident of this county since , and all of this time been in direct contact 

with the masses. We have good men on both sides — some white and some colored 
who strive with each other for good — and if it were not for these two classes of men 



48 NINTH ATLANTA CONFERENCE 

this county would present a sad picture ; both races would indulge more in cruel 
hatred for each other. I don't want to say too much right along here, but the 
Negro is not accorded his rights as a man, either in court, or in his domestic 
and commercial relations, not to say a word about his political privileges. 

LAVONrA. — Of course you are acquainted with procedure of the courts with the 
Negroes in the South. "To be black" goes a long way in reaching a verdict and 
determining the fine or punishment. But it is not so bad here as in some other 
counties, and under these adverse circumstances the Negroes are forbearing, plod- 
ding their way onward, some with wisdom, and others with indiscretion. 

Oconee. — Crime is increasing among the whites. The whites indulge Negroes in 
it a great deal. A Negro kills another and he escapes punishment by getting away 
or some white man pays a small fine for him and he takes him and works him. The 
white man is already anxious for him to get into something in order that he can 
tie him. This is what some of them call controlling labor. There are hundreds 
of Negroes working on farms and public works with some white man on his bond 
or working out fines. A Negro seldom comes clear, no matter how weak is the evi- 
dence produced against him. It does not pay to go to court. 

Brunswick. — It is very difficult, if not impossible, to convict white men in the 
courts of crimes committed against Negroes, nor are Negroes given a fair trial 
when charged with offenses against the whites. Where Negroes only are involved, 
money or a pull will generally secure the acquittal of the Negro who has it. 

Adrien. — Our county is very rough in many ways to work in, to the disadvantage 
of Negroes. We can't get a fair trial in a court of justice, and crimes can't be es- 
timated fairly on account of injustice; especially if it is a case between the Negro 
and a white man, there is no hope for the Negro. 

Douglasville. — As to the treatment of the Negro in the courts, I should judge 
from my own observation of the proceedings of the courts for the past three years, 
that they are generally impartially dealt with according to the evidence. For the 
three years that I have been here, I don't remember any Negro complaining as to un- 
just treatment of his race in court. This town and county, from my observation and 
judgment, is an exception to most of the towns and counties that I have lived in. 

Baxley. — Most of the crimes committed by white men are nolprossed or light 
fines laid when proven guilty, but there is no hope for the acquittal of a Negro ; 
and if he is proven guilty (which is no trouble to do), he is given a long sentence 
or a very heavy fine. In this county we have no colored jurors, and possibly this 
accounts for the Negroes suffering so very much in the criminal courts. 

Tifton. — In the courts, he is usually a criminal and stands friendless before the 
law. 

Summing up these reports we can make this rough estimate of the 
tendency of crime : Reports from 10 counties (11 towns) with 118,244 
Negroes indicate that crime is increasing; reports from 56 counties (67 
towns) with 448,117 Negroes indicate that crime is decreasing. 

In 15 small towns there were, in 1903,5,376 arrests of white and colored 
offenders, mostly for disorder and drunkenness. Of these, 3,113 were 
Negroes, 50 white, and the rest undesignated. 

It seems to be fairly well proven that there is comparatively little 
crime in the Black Belt and in the White Belt. It is in the counties 
where the races meet on something like numerical equality and in 
economic competition that the maximum of crime is charged against 
Negroes. 



NEGRO CRIME 
8. Atlanta and Savannah (by H. H. Pkootor and M. N. Work). 



49 



According to the census of 1900 the total population of Atlanta was 
89,872; of these 54,145 were white and 35,727 were Negroes. Approx- 
imately 60 per cent, of the population is white and 40 per cent, black. 
There were 14,088 arrests made in Atlanta last year; of these 5,925 were 
white and 8,163 black, i. e. 42 per cent, were white and 58 per cent, 
black. Concerning this heavy percentage of arrests three things should 
be said: First, that 732 of the total arrests were made on suspicion, and 
as all presumptions are against the Negro it may be confidently as- 
sumed that he shared largely in this class of arrests; second, that 446 of 
these cases were dismissed, indicating clearly that to be arrested is 
no sure indication of crime; and, third, that a large number of these 
were of that class known as "rounders," and were arrested more than 
once. The largest number of arrests were between the criminal period 
of 20 and 30. One-third of the total colored arrests consisted of women. 

The principal causes of these arrests were disorderly conduct, drunk- 
enness, idling and loitering, and suspicion. Of these arrests at least 
two things are noteworthy. The first is that leaving aside the blanket 
charge of disorderly conduct, the leading cause for arrest was drunken- 
ness. The second is that just one man in Atlanta was arrested for rape 
last year and that man was white! I have been informed by the chief 
of police of this city that during the present year there has been but one 
arrest for this unspeakable crime, and that is for a white man against a 
colored woman. 

One of the causes of Negro crime is ignorance. Thirty-five per cent, 
of the Negroes of Atlanta are illiterate. It should be said that this is 
due in part to the influx from the country districts; but the fact re- 
mains, nevertheless, that every third Negro one meets in this city is il- 
literate. Now, this has a close connection with crime; for ignorance 
and vice are twin sisters. A study of the accompanying table will 
show a striking thing in this connection. We have seen that the Ne- 
groes of Atlanta are about one-third ahead of the whites in crime ; this 
table shows that they are just about one-third behind in school facili- 
ties: 

Atlanta Public Schools 1902=1903 





School 
populate 


Schools 


Teachers 


Seats 


Without 
seats 


Colored 


8,118 
14,465 


5 

20 


49 

200 


2,445 
10,052 


5,078 


White 


4,413 



But the fountain head of crime among the Negroes of Atlanta is the 
open saloon. There is no doubt but that the removal of strong drink 
from the city would decrease crime by half. In my native Southern 
town the abolition of the saloon has almost put the courts out of busi- 
ness with Negroes. In one of our Decatur street saloons 100 colored 
men were seen to enter within 13 minutes one rainy evening. Of the 
150 colored men and boys now in the city stockade the keeper tells me 
that the most of them are there for drunkenness. 



50 



NINTH ATLANTA CONFERENCE 



A strenuous effort should be made to make the home life more at- 
tractive. Too many black boys and even girls are permitted to roam 
the streets alone at night. A curfew law properly administered would 
be a splendid thing for a certain class of our young people. Another 
year would see fewer than 3,077 arrests between the ages of 12 and 20. 

We need more philanthropic agencies for the amelioration of crime 
among Negroes in this city. At present there are only two; they pro- 
vide for less than 100 children. Day nurseries are needed for the care 
of the children of hard working mothers who must go out to earn the 
living for their children and be away from them all the day. A refor- 
matory is needed for refractory boys, and a house of refuge for wayward 
girls. A fully equipped Young Men's Christian Association would be a 
power for good in preventing crime among young men. But the supreme 
need of Atlanta is a great union college social settlement established 
in one of the Negro centers of crime. 

The figures for arrests in Atlanta since 1898 follow: 







Arrests in Atlanta 


i 








1898 


1899 


1900 


1901 


1902 


1903 


Whites— 
Males 


4,508 
418 


4,523 
389 


4,957 
474 


5,384 
403 


5,289 
449 


5,413 


Females 


512 






Total whites 


4,926 


4,912 


5,431 


5,787 


5,738 


5,925 


Negroes— 
Males 


6,911 
2,470 


7,600 
1,654 


7,415 
2,086 


8,539 
2,960 


7,808 
2,888 


7,544 


Females 


2,619 




Total Negroes. . . 


9.381 


9,254 


9,501 


11,499 


10,696 


10,163 


1903 



AGE 



Under 12 

Between 12 and 15 
Between 15 and 20. 
Between 20 and 30. 
Between 30 and 40. 
Between 40 and 50. 
Over 50 



Totals 



Whites 


Negroes 


Male 


Female 




Male 


Female 


8 


33 


1 


263 


15 


901 


73 


446 


89 


1,321 


782 


1,844 


209 


3,142 


1,242 


1,479 


130 


1,362 


369 


799 


52 


470 


107 


574 


17 


313 


45 


5,413 


512 


7,544 


2,619 



Total 



42 
1,252 
2,640 
6,437 
3,340 
1,428 
949 

16,088 



Negro Arrests per Thousand of Negro Population 



1898. 
1899. 



.274 
.265 



1900. 
1901. 



.266 
.322 



1902. 
1903. 



.293 
.273 



Savannah has 54,244 inhabitants, of whom 28,090 are Negroes (1900). 
The most demoralizing agencies in Savannah are some twelve or four- 
teen low dance houses, known as "Free and Easies," run in connection 
with saloons. These are a great source of crime and immorality. A 
large percentage of the murders and other offenses against the per- 
son are committed in them. In one month of this year two homicides 



NEGRO CRIME 



51 



occurred in them, besides numerous cutting laffrays. It is probably 
safe to say that these low dance halls are the greatest sources of crime 
in the city. Another source of vice and crime is a park for Negroes on 
the outskirts of the city. Here a low form of vaudeville is carried on. 
There is a saloon inside of the park and on the outside are low drink- 
ing places and other disreputable resorts. This park, if it furnished 
recreation and amusements of the proper kind, could be made a great 
agency for good to the city's large Negro population. 

Some statistics for Savannah follow : 

Police Arrests in Savannah 

Arrests per Thousand of Negro Population by Years. 



1874.. 


. 79 1 1883. 


60 | 1887. . 


. 65 


1891 . . 


. 83 


1895. 


.106 


1899 . 


.153 


1877. . 


. 56 1 1884. 


66 | 1888. . 


. 65 


1892.. 


. 75 


1896 . 


.100 


1900 . 


.152 


1881. 


. 82 1 1885. 


65 1 1889. . 


. 79 


1893. . 


. 85 


1897 . 


.122 


1901 . 


.138 


1882. . 


. 68 1 1886. 


55 1 1890.. 


. 75 


1894.. 


. 85 


1898. 


.165 


1902 . 


.144 






1903 




143 







Number of Arrests for each Class of Offenses 



Year 



1874 
1877 
1881 
1886 
1895 
1896 
1897 
1900 
1901 
1902 
1903 



Person 



11 

59 
105 
118 
257 
352 
294 
462 
303 
272 
210 



Property 



145 
114 

116 
112 
630 
512 

587 
711 
661 
687 
618 



Society 



963 
668 
1,128 
872 
1,781 
1,732 
2,344 
3,091 
2,966 
3,243 
3,404 



Arrests per Thousand of the 
Negro Population for each 
Class of Offenses 



Person 



0.07 

3.9 

6.4 

5.8 

10.0 

13.0 

11.0 

16.0 

10.0 

9.0 

7.0 



Property 



10.0 

7.6 

7.0 

5.0 

24.0 

19.0 

22.0 

25.0 

23.0 

23.0 

21.0 



Society 



68.0 

45.0 

67.0 

43.0 

79.0 

66.0 

84.0 

110.0 

103.0 

111.0 

115.0 



Percentage of Ages 



Ages 


Males 


Females 


Total 


0-14 


27.0 

21.0 

23.0 

16.0 

7.0 

2.7 

1.3 

0.7 


25.0 

27.0 

21.0 

13.0 

6.0 

3.0 

1.8 

0.7 


26.0 


15-24 


24.0 


25-34 


22.4 


35-44 


14.5 


45-54 


6.8 


55-64 

65 and over 

Age unknown 


2.9 
1.5 

0.7 



The sentences imposed in the city court are generally severer than 
those imposed in the superior court, e. g. for larceny. It is also true 
that the sentences imposed in the recorder's court are usually severer 
than those imposed in the superior court. This is a further substantia- 
tion of the fact that there is increased stringency in punishing Negroes 
for minor offenses. It further appears from the record of cases that the 
tendency is to impose severer sentence for offenses against property than 
for offenses against the person. 

The amount of crime among the Negroes of Savannah could no doubt 
be reduced if all or some of the following things could be accomplished : 
The suppression of the Free and Easies; improved park facilities for 



52 NINTH ATLANTA CONFERENCE 

the colored people so that recreation and amusement which would be 
uplifting and helpful could be furnished ; the enforcement of the law 
respecting minors entering saloons and other questionable places; the 
establishment of a juvenile court and reformatory; better house facili- 
ties; education of the mass of the Negroes respecting proper sanitary 
observances; an increase of the school facilities for colored children. 
The school census of the city for 1903 gives the number of colored chil- 
dren between the ages of six and eighteen as being 8,023. The total 
number of colored pupils enrolled during the school year of 1903 was 
2,312. only 28.8 per cent, of the entire number of colored children of 
school age. There are four colored public school buildings in the city. 
They are crowded to their utmost capacity. Admission for enrollment 
can be obtained only by ticket. In due time some or all of the above 
things will be done, and then a greater lowering of the crime rate of the 
Negroes will take place. , 

Comparing Savannah and Atlanta a strange discrepancy in arrests is 
noticeable — 143 per thousand in Savannah, and 273, nearly twice as 
many, in Atlanta. The cause of this is probably tjiat the relation be- 
tween whites and Negroes in Atlanta is much less pleasant than in Sa- 
vannah. In Atlanta strangers have met: the mountain whites and Ne- 
groes; and the white policemen arrest Negroes on the slightest provo- 
cation, so much so that the new mayor has protested: 

The idea that 17,000 cases should be tried in recorder's court in one year is ap- 
palling, Mayor Woodward said. It places Atlanta at or near the top of the list of 
cities of this country in criminal statistics, he says. The police department should 
not be run for revenue, but for justice. 

He then compares Atlanta's record with that of St. Louis, Atlanta being a 
"sealed" city, while St. Louis is known as a wide-open town. Atlanta has a pop- 
ulation of 100,000; St. Louis had with strangers during October and November 
about 700,000. Yet in Atlanta during October and November, 1904, there were 3,163 
cases tried in recorder's court, while in St. Louis the number was only 5,034, the 
St. Louis police making only 1,871 more arrests with 600,000 more population. At- 
lanta, he declares, needs no such money. 

Mayor Woodward said he had been informed that many policemen keep a record 
of the arrests which they make, the fines and sentences imposed, with the belief 
that the more the arrests the better their chance for promotion. He promises to 
make an effort to have dismissed from the force every policeman who does this. — 
Atlanta Constitution, Jan. 3, 1905. 

In Savannah, on the contrary, aleaven of the old house-servant class 
is still living beside the sons of their former masters and the mutual 
understanding is far better, and perhaps runs even to laxness in cases 
where punishment of Negroes would be salutary. 

9. Crime in Augusta (by A. G. Coombs and L. D. Davis). Au- 
gusta is a city of 39,441 inhabitants, of whom 18,487 are Negroes (1900). 
It has much wealth, culture and learning, and the Negroes can with 
just pride lay claim to some part of these. Until two or three years 
ago crime among the Negroes in Augusta had reached a very serious 
and alarming extent. The recorder's court, with its daily sessions, 



NEGRO CRIME 53 

lasted for three or four hours disposing of drunken brawls, gambling, 
and similar offenses. This state of affairs, however, was due to the 
fact that there was no fear of the law, and not because the Negro was 
so bad. The punishments were slight for political reasons. The ballot 
of the Negro was sought for, and the city officials made themselves 
popular with the black population for their own political interests and 
welfare. 

Such a condition of things demanded a reform, which was made possi- 
ble by the election of a new municipality. All the courts, city, county, 
and superior, began to enforce the laws rigidly and punishments were 
meted out swift and severe, both for minor and grave offenses. The re- 
sult has been quite telling, for the recorder's court seldom lasts longer 
than an hour, and the number of Negroes arraigned has greatly de- 
creased. And may we hope that the decrease is due to the respect for 
the majesty of the law rather than for fear of punishment. 

In the last half-yearly report the chief of police says that crime in the 
city has lessened about 30 per cent., and especially that of moral turpi- 
tude among the Negroes. And this in spite of the city's growing popula- 
tion. 

The following table gives some statistics of criminality in Augusta 
for 1902 and 1903: 

1902 1903 

No. of arrests 2,236 2,100 

No. of reports 1,052 768 

No. brought before recorder 2,506 2,366 

No. fined by recorder 1,852 1,530 

No. dismissed by recorder 239 227 

No. turned over to city court 247 220 

No. turned over to superior court 60 48 

No. sent to jail without fine 16 110 

No. sent to reformatory 16 25 

Amount of fines imposed $30,079 $21,093 

Amount of fines collected 17,331 4,311 

These figures are given for the total population of Augusta, as no sep- 
arate records are kept by the officials. The Negroes, however, form 
three-fourths of those convicted. The average age of the Augusta crim- 
inals is about 25 years. Of the 2,868 arrested and reported for the year 
1903, there were 1,490 distributed between the jail and the county farm. 
Those who were convicted of gambling, vagrancy, suspicious charac- 
ter, wife-beating, drunkenness and nuisance in general were sent to 
jail. Most of these were worked on the chaingang. The county farm 
received a less number of prisoners, these being convicted for larceny, 
carrying concealed weapons, assault, swindling and such grave 
offenses. 

The jail in Augusta is a place of discipline and cleanliness. Work is 
required, but it is so enforced that discharged prisoners report very hu- 
mane treatment. The prisoners on the county farm have more labori- 
ous work to do, and often complain of harsh and unjust treatment. 

A crying need of Augusta, and one which may in a manner throw 
some light on the cause of Negro criminalit3 r in this city, is for in- 
creased and improved public school accommodations for the Negroes. 
The city has four public schools for Negroes, having twenty-seven 



54 NINTH ATLANTA CONFERENCE 

teachers, with an enrollment of about 2,000 pupils. This leaves at least 
2,000 other children unprovided for. 

As to the criminals it may be said that not many girls, but a goodly 
number of women, are sent to jail. There are some among these who 
are continually brought before the recorder, and they receive their 
sentence with stoical indifference. Sad it is to say that among the so- 
classed criminals are many young boys who are not criminals in the 
true sense of the word. There is the offending boy caught for throwing 
rocks, or spinning his top, or pitching his ball in the street. While 
some of these young boys are pardoned, a large number are fined ; and 
as these fines cannot always be paid, they are therefore u sent up" and 
thereby classed as criminals. 

According to various city officials consulted by investigators, crime 
among Negroes in Augusta is constantly decreasing. One official said 
that it was his opinion that Negroes of the ignorant type and whites of 
the ignorant type were those guilty of crime. Ignorant whites commit 
the same kind of crime that ignorant Negroes commit, and 15 per cent, of 
the ignorant whites were associates and co-workers in crime with the 
same class of Negroes. 

10. What Negroes think of Crime. As a rough answer to this ques- 
tion, the results of written answers of Negro school children and stu- 
dents have been collected. A series of simple questions were first put 
to 1,500 Negro school children in the Atlanta public schools. The most 
of them were between the ages of 9 and 15 years and were city bred. Of 
these 583 said that laws were made u f or protection;" 315, u to keep 
peace " or u order; " and 135, to " govern " or M rule" persons. 

The answers classed under " For protection" include many forms of 
protection; e. g., protection of one's rights, of property, of person, pro- 
tection of city, of state, of country. Under the hundred or more un- 
classified answers are many which speak of laws as a means of pre- 
venting fighting, stealing, etc. 

Their ideas of courts were correct: u To determine guilt or inno- 
cence" (398) ; "to see that the laws are obeyed" (222) ; u to settle mat- 
ters" (222); a few say for "bad people" (69). Policemen are for the 
purpose of "arresting people" (522), or "protecting" them (346). Police- 
men are usually kind to 618 of the little ones, but were considered un- 
kind by 459 and variable by 204. Most of them say that persons are 
sent to the "chaingang" for breaking the law and wrong-doing, but 
some others say that people are sent to the chaingang because u they 
haven't the money to pay their fines." One boy says : "Some good peo- 
ple are sent to the chaingang and some bad ones. They are sent be- 
cause they are convicted." 

The students, 534 in number, were older (13 to 21 years of age) and 
come from all parts of the state. Policemen have never helped or pro- 
tected most of them (408) ; and 21 declared they have been specifically 
wronged by policemen. Of those who have seen courts in session (134), 
71 think the judge and jurors acted fairly, and 41 that they did not; 



NEGRO CRIME 55 

their opinions of persons sent to the "chaingang" vary: 164 think them 
"bad or unfortunate;'' 54 think they deserve punishment "if guilty," 
and 46 doubt the guilt of many of them; 25 are "sorry for them," and 
22 think their punishment "makes them worse," but 28 consider them 
"a disgrace to their race." In general, many students consider that per- 
sons who are sent to the chaingang are very unfortunate. Many say 
that, while they are in favor of punishment for law-breakers, they con- 
sider the "chaingang" the worst and poorest means of punishment. 
These also speak of and deplore the treatment of the criminals on the 
"gang." 

Many speak of the very disastrous results upon young criminals and 
express the wish that reformation be provided for the youthful offend- 
ers of the law. One says along this line: u The chaingang system is 
discreditable. It seems to defeat the purpose of punishment. I grow 
indignant over the presence of young boys in the chaingang." Another 
says: "The intermingling of young criminals with old ones in the 
chaingang is one of the worst evils of the system." A third says: "I 
think it [the chaingang] is one of the last resorts to which the state 
should give itself. The treatment of the men in most cases is very se- 
vere and especially unbearable in the fierce winter months." 

When asked why so many young Negroes get into the clutches of the 
law, 152 ascribe it to "indolence" and "laziness;" 62 say for "not attend- 
ing to their own business;" 57, "disobedience;" 40, "bad company;" 39, 
"ignorance;" 67, "lack of home-training;" and 19, "race prejudice." 
Most of them have several causes why so many young colored boys get 
into trouble. As an example of this one student says: "Ignorance, 
prejudice, poverty, wrong-doing." Another says: "Idleness is almost 
sole cause. Race prejudice also aids, as more Negroes are handled by 
the courts for the same offenses than whites." A third says: "The im- 
portant causes are, I think, the lack of moral training, the lack of educa- 
tional privileges, and beyond all the lack of good home-training. An- 
other cause is the difficulty Negro boys have in getting employment." 

As a remedy for criminality among Negroes, 118 say "better employ- 
ment;" 112, "education;" 77, "teaching them the right;" 35, "home- 
training;" 24, "establishing reformatories;" 22, "Christian work;" 12, 
"by raising their standards and ideals;" and 10, "by closing places of 
evil and vice." Many suggest fair trial and unprejudiced decision in 
courts. Many also speak of good association, while some add that "our 
best people should dwell on the disgrace of being confined to the chain- 
gang." 

11. Causes of Negro Crime. This study is too incomplete to lead us 
to many definite conclusions. Yet certain causes of crime among Ne- 
groes today seem clear. They may be briefly classified as follows: 

A. — Faults of the Negroes. 

1. Abuse of their new freedom and tendency toward idleness and vagrancy. 

2. Loose ideas of property, petty pilfering. 

3. Unreliability, lying and deception. 



56 NINTH ATLANTA CONFERENCE 

4. Exaggerated ideas of personal rights, irritability and suspicion. 

5. Sexual looseness, weak family life and poor training of children ; lack of re- 
spect for parents. 

6. Lack of proper self-respect; low or extravagant ideals. 

7. Poverty, low wages and lack of accumulated property. 

8. Lack of thrift and prevalence of the gambling spirit. 

9. Waywardness of the " second generation." 
10. The use of liquor and drugs. 

All these faults are real and important causes of Negro crime. They 
are not racial traits but due to perfectly evident historic causes : slavery 
could not survive as an institution and teach thrift; and its great evil 
in the United States was its low sexual morals; emancipation meant 
for the Negroes poverty and a great stress of life due to sudden change. 
These and other considerations explain Negro crime. They do not ex- 
cuse it however and a great burden of pressing reform from within lies 
upon the Negro's shoulders. Especially is this true with regard to the 
atrocious crime of rape. This is not to be sure a crime peculiar to the 
Negro race. An Englishman tells us that in Jamaica justice has 
been dealt out impartially ; and this has not resulted in ''impudence" 
on the part of the blacks towards the whites. Indeed, when reasona- 
bly treated they are remarkably courteous, — more so than the average 
Teuton. Attacks by black men on white women are absolutely un- 
known ; a young white woman is safe anywhere, the only terror 
being from white sailors. There are offenses against black women 
and children, but not whites. He infers from this that the danger 
of such attacks on white women, if it exists in the United States, is 
not really due to race. For his own part he is sure that the evil, 
where it exists, is augmented by the state of frenzy with which it 
is met* 

But granting this and making allowance for all exaggeration in at- 
tributing this crime to Negroes, there still remain enough well authen- 
ticated cases of brutal assault on women by black men in America to 
make every Negro bow his head in shame. Negroes must recognize 
their responsibility for their own worst classes and never let resent- 
ment against slander allow them even to seem to palliate an awful 
deed. This crime must at all hazards stop. Lynching is awful, and 
injustice and caste are hard to bear; but if they are to be successfully 
attacked they must cease to have even this terrible justification. 

B. — Faults of the whites. 

1. The attempt to enforce a double standard of justice in the courts, one for 
Negroes and one for whites. 

2. The election of judges for short terms, making them subservient to waves 
of public opinion in a white electorate. 

3. The shirking of jury duty by the best class of whites, leaving the dealing 
out of justice to the most ignorant and prejudiced. 

4. Laws so drawn as to entangle the ignorant, as in the case of laws for labor 
contracts, and to leave wide discretion as to punishment in the hands of juries 
and petty officials. 

♦Sidney Olivier, in the British Friend, Dec., 1904. 



NEGRO CRIME 57 

5. Peonage and debt-slavery as methods of securing cheap and steady labor. 

6. The tendency to encourage ignorance and subserviency among Negroes in- 
stead of intelligence, ambition and independence. 

7. The taking of all rights of political self-defense from the Negro either by 
direct law, or custom, or by the "white primary" system. 

8. The punishment of crime as a means of public and private revenue rather 
than as a means of preventing the making of criminals. 

9. The rendering of the chastity of Negro women difficult of defense in law or 
custom against the aggressions of white men. 

10. Enforcing a caste system in such a way as to humiliate Negroes and kill 
their self-respect. 

A Southern man, Professor Andrew Sledd, has perhaps best elucida- 
ted the meaning of this latter point: "If we care to investigate, evi- 
dences of our brutal estimate of the black man are not far to seek. 
The hardest to define is perhaps the most impressive, — the general tac- 
it attitude and feeling of the average Southern community toward the 
Negro. He is either nothing more than the beast that perishes, unno- 
ticed and uncared for so long as he goes quietly about his menial toil 
(as a young man recently said to the writer, 'The farmer regards his 
nigger in the same light as his mule,' but this puts the matter far too 
favorably for the Negro) ; or, if he happen to offend, he is punished as 
a beast with a curse or a kick, and with tortures that even the beast is 
spared ; or if he is thought of at all in a general way, it is with the most 
absolute loathing and contempt. He is either unnoticed or despised. 
As for his feelings, he hasn't any. How few — alas how few — words of 
gentleness and courtesy ever come to the black man's ear! But harsh 
and imperious words, coarseness and cursing, how they come upon 
him, whether with excuse or in the frenzy of unjust and unreasoning- 
passion! And his rights of person, property, and sanctity of home, — 
who ever heard of the 'rights' of a 'nigger' ? This is the general senti- 
ment, in the air, intangible, but strongly felt; and it is, in a large meas- 
ure, this sentiment that creates and perpetuates the Negro problem. 

"If the Negro could be made to feel that his fundamental rights and 
privileges are recognized and respected equally with those of the 
white man, that he is not discriminated against both publicly and pri- 
vately simply and solely be.cause of his color, that he is regarded and 
dealt with as a responsible, if humble, member of society, the most 
perplexing features of his problem would be at once simplified, and 
would shortly, in normal course, disappear."* 

A scientific study of Southern criminal conditions says: 

There is frequently collusion between lawyers and justices. A Negro asks a 
lawyer how much it will cost her to whip Laura Brown. The lawyer sees a 
justice and arranges that the fine shall be $10. She is cautioned to do no "cut- 
ting," only whipping. If her wrath is equal to $10, Laura Brown gets a whipping. 
The Negro is fined according to contract, but also gets classed among criminals. 
The justice of peace office is one which few respectable men in the South will ac- 
cept. The salary is small, and the general rule is no conviction, no fee, for either 
jury or justice. This is a direct bribe for conviction. There is often small chance 

♦Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 90, p. 67. 



58 NINTH ATLANTA CONFERENCE 

for appeal, for a $100 bond is required, and few Negroes are able to secure it. 
Justices and constables are often in collusion. The constable gives a Negro, called 
a "striker," money to go out and play craps. He informs the constable when and 
where he will gather men to play. Then the constable swoops down and arrests 
them. The striker gets a dividend and the constable and justice also profit by the 
transaction.* 

. . . . (1) Penalties in the South are extreme and Negroes are serving life 
sentences for crimes which receive penalties of from one to five years in the 
North. (2) There are no agencies for preventing crime in the South. There are 
no parental or vacation schools; no juvenile courts; no societies to aid discharged 
convicts ; no employment bureaus ; no co-operative societies, and no municipal lodg- 
ing houses. There are three reformatories ; no manual training schools ; few kinder- 
gartens ; no compulsory education laws, and few Y. M. C. associations. All of these 
are recognized as great forces in the prevention of crime. There are no movements 
or institutions for saving the Negro women, and they largely increase the statistics 
for female criminals in the United States. t 

Negro women are thus peculiarly unprotected: 

They constitute the domestic class, although they work in all the trades open to 
them. Necessity compels them to work, and the Negro men do not discourage it. 
The attitude of white women is not a protection, for many of them are indifferent 
to their husbands' or brothers' relations with Negroes. This is changing as they 
get farther away from the precedents of slavery. White men have little respect 
for the sanctity of family life of Negroes, when they would hesitate to enter the 
Anglo-Saxon's home. Negro women are expected to be immoral, and have few in- 
ducements to be otherwise. Religion is more often a cause than prevention, for 
the services are frequently scenes of crime. Physical senses so largely predom- 
inate over the intellectual and spiritual perceptions, and but few attempts have 
been made to develop the latter. The laws against immorality are laxly enforced. 
Whites within their own circles would not countenance acts to which they are in- 
different in Negroes. There are small opportunities for Negro women to support 
themselves through occupations other than menial, which are filled with grave 
temptations. J 

And again, once in jail and no attempts at reform are made through- 
out the Southern States: 

With one exception, there are no educational influences. No trades are taught, 
no schools are conducted and no reading supplied, except at mining camps in Ala- 
bama. In factories, sawmills, etc., convicts are given enough instruction to make 
them productive workers, and that is equivalent to a trade. But the idea is not 
equipment of individuals so they can support themselves when released.§ 

The surroundings of prisoners suggest slavery and degradation: 

"About daylight convicts start off to the fields dividing into two gangs, when 
they are busy. The assistant manager takes one gang, and a deputy takes charge 
of the other. One gang goes to plowing and the other to hoeing. When they get 
out into the field a cordon is formed by the guards, who are armed with Winches- 
ters. The manager stands in the midst of the gang, or rides horseback, as the 
case may be, and directs the operations. He, of course, is armed with a revolver, 
and carries the strap for the punishment of the refractory men. This strap is a 
queer looking affair. It is a piece of leather about 6 inches wide and 2 feet long, 
attached to a wooden handle. It is customary to give a refractory 'nigger' from 
one to twenty-five lashes with this strap on his bare back, according to the extent 

♦Kellor: Experimental Sociology, p. 250. flbld, p. 34. flbid, p. 171. $Ibid, p. 200. 



NEGRO CRIME 59 

of his offense. The occasions for punishment are comparatively rare, however. 
It is more often the new men who get a taste of the lash. The lash was adopted 
by the board some time ago, and it is regarded as the most humane yet put in use. 
It is impossible to cut the flesh with it, and a liberal use of it does not incapacitate 
a man for work. The board is also particular about too liberal use of the lash, and 
sergeants are compelled, among other things, to report at the end of every month 
the names of convicts lashed, the reason and the number of lashes."* 

And finally, instead of efforts to improve workmen and to make them 
more efficient, one is struck by such demands as this: 

Under the present status, the employing farmer has little or no redress against a 
breach of agreement on the part of the bands he has engaged to assist in the working 
and harvesting of his crop. He is at the mercy of the mercenary immigration 
agent or the machinations of unscrupulous planters in an adjoining county or 
state 

The Constitution is of the opinion, however, that outside of the aid of immigra- 
tion, this bewildering problem can be largely solved in Georgia and other Southern 
states by the enactment of statutes making a contract between farmer and laborer 
even more legally binding than under existing laws 

Making a discretionary term of imprisonment the penalty for such breaches and 
the consistent enforcement of such a provision for two or three seasons would soon 
teach this floating, shiftless element to regard their obligations with greater re- 
spect and remove one of the very present menaces to the business-like manage- 
ment of our agricultural interests. — Atlanta Constitution; Editorial, March 30, 1905. 

There is much difference of opinion on many of the points enumer- 
ated above, but it certainly seems clear that absolutely impartial 
courts; the presence of intelligent Negroes on juries when Negroes are 
tried; the careful defense of ignorance in law and custom; the abso- 
lute doing away with every vestige of involuntary servitude except in 
prisons under absolute state control, and for the reformation of the 
prisoner; the encouraging of intelligent, ambitious, and independent 
black men ; the granting of the right to cast an untramelled vote to in- 
telligent and decent Negroes; the unwavering defense of all women 
who want to be decent against indecent approach, and an effort to in- 
crease rather than to kill the self respect of Negroes, it seems certain 
that such a policy would make quickly and decidedly for the decrease 
of Negro criminality in the South and in the land. 

The arguments against this are often strongly urged; it is said 
that whites and Negroes differ so in standards of culture that courts 
must discriminate; that partially forced labor is necessary in the 
South; that intelligent Negroes become impudent fault-finders and 
disturb a delicate situation; that the South cannot in self-defense per- 
mit Negro suffrage; that Negro women are unchaste; and that the Ne- 
gro must be "kept down" at all hazards. To all this it can only be said : 
These arguments have been used against every submerged class since 
the world began, and history has repeatedly proven them false. 



♦Quoted In Kellor: Experimental Sociology, p. 195. 



60 



NINTH ATLANTA CONFEKENCE 



12. Some Conclusions. A fragmentary study like this can, of course, 
come to no general conclusions. Yet confining ourselves principally to 
the state of Georgia and to statistics, we may distinguish certain evi- 
dent forces at work : the downward tendencies are the amount of crime, 
the number of lynchings, and the State income from crime. The upward 
tendencies are the increase in population, the increase in percentage of 
those able to read and write, and the increase in property. 

Taking these, one by one, we have : 

DOWNWARD TENDENCIES 

(a) Amount of Crime. The diagram on page 61 shows the Negro prison 
population of Georgia per 100,000 of total Negro population. The exact 
figures are given on page 33. These figures show that serious Negro 
crime is decreasing. Moreover, the full measure of that decrease is 
here but partially shown as the argument on page 11 has proven. The 
large proportion of life and long term sentences for Negroes makes the 
Negro population apparently responsible for considerably more crime 
than it really is. If the figures for commitments, year by year, were 
available the decrease in Negro crime in the last ten years would be 
even more striking. 

(b) Lynchings. The absolute numbers of lynchings in Georgia, as re- 
ported by the Chicago Tribune, are : 




Averaging these for five year periods and plotting the average number 
of lynchings for the half decades, we have the diagram on page 61. It 
is interesting to note, first, that the crest of the wave of lynching law- 
lessness has evidently passed, and secondly, that the crest of the wave 
apparently preceded the crest of the wave of crime. It would be too 
much perhaps to say that it caused an increase of crime, but certainly 
it did not lessen crime. 

(c) State Income from Crime. From 1876-1904 the State of Georgia has 
received from traffic in criminals a net income over expenses of nearly 
nine hundred thousand dollars from the sale of criminals to private 
contractors. This sum has been as follows : 



NEGRO CRIME 
Net Income of State from Crime in Georgia 



61 



Year 


Income per 
annum 


Total 


1876-99 


$ 15,000.00* 
61,826.32 
81,000.00 

225,000.00 


$345,000.00 
61,862.32 


1900 


1901-3 


243,000.00 

225,000.00 


1904 




Total 




$874,862.32 







The sinister increase of this blood money is the greatest single cause 
of persistent crime in Georgia, since it makes the object of the whole 
prison system money and not reform of criminals or prevention of crime. 

Of these three backward tendencies the two first show hopeful de- 
crease, the last dangerous increase. 



•2.0 



15 



LYNCH 


NGS IN 


GEORGIA 





































tns- 



PR ISO N FOPULATfOM PER 
IOOTH01/5AND 



1885 MO [8^5" 1100 2 ,l? 




1880 \m mo \m \%o u- 



UPWARD TENDENCIES 

(a) Increase in Population; The diagram on page 62 shows how the 
Negro population has grown since the war. The exact figures are: 



Year 



1870 
1880. 
1890. 
1900. 



Population 



545,142 
725,133 

858,815 
1,034,813 



PerOent. of Increase 



Negroes Whites 



33.0 % 

18.4 % 

20.5 % 



27.9 % 
19.8 % 
20.7 % 



This would seem to indicate a healthy, virile growth of population, 
equaling that of the whites with their larger prosperity and opportunity. 

* $25,000 was received each year, but some $10,000 of this was expended for State in- 
spection. 



62 



NINTH ATLANTA CONFERENCE 



TO TOTAL NEGRO PROPERTY 



'1 
18 

n 

16 












































/3 

II 






















































































1 

2 

7 
i 


























































i 

















1870 1275 » 1885 \m \M5 \m \%$ 
NEGRO POPULATION OF 'GEORGIA 



MILL- 
IONS 



• «L 
















1 

•1 












































ff 
















••7 






























■6 































PROPERTY ,PE"R CAPITA 




1870 ws mo im mo im mo im 



PERCENTAG-E AtfLt 
TO "READ AND WRITE 



50 

45 
40 
35 
30 
£5 

15 
10 



'1870 1375 



!8?5 I8<?0 lff<?5 J4Q0 1905 



1870 



mo 



mo 



(b) Increase in Literacy. The diagram of those 10 years of age and 
over able to read and write is given above, and is based on these 
figures : 



Year 


Percentage able 

to read and 

write 


1870 


7.9 % 
18.4 % 
32.7 % 
47.6 % 


1880 


1890 


1900 





NEGRO CRIME 



63 



This population is an ignorant population with shamefully inadequate 
school facilities in the country districts, and only fair facilities in the 
town schools. Nevertheless, the rapid growth in intelligence has been 
marvelous. 

(c) Property Holding. It is continually reiterated that the Negro is 
lazy and shiftless. That there is a large idle class and many spend- 
thrifts is true, but that there is a growing class of thrifty, saving Ne- 
groes is the central fact of post-bellum history, and this class cannot be 
ignored. The curve showing the total assessed value of Georgia prop- 
erty is given on page 62. The figures on which this diagram is based 
are: 

Total Assessed Wealth of Georgia Negroes 



Year 


Total 
property 


Year 


Total 
property 


1874 


$ 6,157,798 
5,393,885 
5,488,867 
5,430,844 
5,124,875 
5,182,398 
5,764,293 
6,478,951 
6,589,876 
7,582,395 
8,021,525 
8,153,390 
8,655,298 
8,936,479 
9,631,271 
10,415,330 


1890 


$12,322,003 


1875 


1891 


14,196,735 

14,869,575 


1876 


1892 


1877 


1893 


14,960,675 


1878 


1894 


14,387,730 
12,941,230 
13,292,816 
13,619,690 
13,719,200 


1879 


1895 


1880 


1896 


1881 


1897 


1882 


1898 


1883 


1899 


13,447,423 


1884 


1900 


14,118,720 
15,629,811 


1885 


1901 


1886 


1902 


15,188,069 


1887 


1903 


16,714,334 


1888 


1904 


18,002,500 


1889 









To this must be added considerable property in churches and schools. 
Probably the market value of Negro property in Georgia to-day is close 
to $35,000,000. The per capita amount of property is given in the dia- 
gram on page 62. It shows a decrease from 1874 to 1879; then a rapid 
increase up to 1892. The financial panic and the falling price of cotton 
brought it down until 1899, when it began to recover, and has nearly re- 
gained its maximum. The exact figures, based on the estimated Negro 
population for the years between each census, are : 

Property per Capita for Georgia Negroes 



Year 


Property 
per capita 


Year 


Property 
per capita 


1874 

1875 

1876 


$ 9.98 

8.49 

8.44 

8.09 

7.44 

7.33 

7.95 

8.77 

8.77 

9.91 

10.30 

10.21 

10.75 

10.92 

11.57 

12.32 


1890 

1891 

1892 


$14.35 
16.20 
16.63 


1877 


1893 


16.41 


1878 


1894 


15.48 


1879 . 


1895 


13.67 


1880 


1896 


13.78 


1881 


1897 


13.87 


1882 

1883 


1898 

1899 


13.72 
13.22 


1884 


1900 


13.64 


1885 


1901 


14.85 


1886 


1902 


14.19 


1887. 


1903 


15.37 


1888 


1904 


16.29 


1889 







64 NINTH ATLANTA CONFERENCE 

On the whole, then, we may say that in Georgia the tendencies are 
overwhelmingly in the right direction; crime is decreasing, property 
and education increasing. The danger lies in the environingwhite popu- 
lation with their tendency toward the unfair treatment of blacks. So 
far as this treatment is manifested in lynching, there is an evident de- 
crease, but the traffic in criminal labor continues. 

How far the facts true in Georgia are true for the rest of the nation, 
is not certain, but probably they are fairly typical. 

13. The Ninth Atlanta Conference. The Ninth Atlanta Conference to 
study the Negro problems convened in Ware Memorial Chapel, Tues- 
day, May 24, 1904. President Horace Bumstead was made chairman 
and the Rev. Mr. H. H. Proctor was made secretary. The following 
program was carried out: 

First Session, 10 A. M. 

President Horace Bumstead, presiding. 
Subject: "Causes of Crime." 

Remarks— The Rev. Mr. James Bond, Nashville, Tenn. 
Remarks — The Rev. Mr. A. Eustace Day, Atlanta, Ga. 
"Crime in Atlanta"— The Rev. Mr. H. H. Proctor, Atlanta, Ga. 
Discussion by Dr. W. F. Penn, the Rev. Mr. C. B. Wilmer, Dean L. L. Knight, and 
the Rev. Mr. J. E. Moorland. 

Second Session, 3 P. M. 

Annual Mothers' Meeting. 

Mrs. Mary Tate Cater, presiding. 

Subject: "Crime among Women and Children." 

Music. 

"Wayward Children and the School" — Miss J. F. Cutler, Atlanta, Ga. 

"The School and Crime" — Miss Ruth Harris, Atlanta, Ga. 

Music. 

Address — Miss N. H. Burroughs, Louisville, Ky. 

Music. 

Reports on Social Reform : 

Juvenile Reformatory — Mrs. G. S. King. 

Women's Clubs — Miss Hattie Escridge. 
Music. 

(The music was furnished by children from the Leonard Street Colored Orphan- 
age, under the direction of Miss Amy Chadwick.) 

Third Session, 8 P. M. 

President Horace Bumstead, presiding. 

Subject: "Extent and Cure of Crime." 

"Crime in Savannah as compared with Chicago, 111." — Mr. M. N. Work, Savan- 
nah, Ga. 

"Crime in Augusta" — The Rev. Mr. A. G. Coombs, Augusta, Ga. 

"Co-operation among Whites and Negroes for the Cure of Crime" — The Rev. Mr. 
H. S. Bradley, Atlanta, Ga. 

"The Problem of Crime" — Mr. Frank B. Sanborn, Concord, Mass. 



NEGRO CRIME 65 

14. Resolutions. The following resolutions were adopted before the 
conference adjourned: 

The Ninth Atlanta Conference, after a study of crime among Negroes in Georg- 
ia, has come to these conclusions : 

AMOUNT OF CRIME 

1. The amount of crime among Negroes in this state is very great. This is a 
dangerous and threatening phenomenon. It means that large numbers of the 
freedmen's sons have not yet learned to be law-abiding citizens and steady 
workers, and until they do so the progress of the race, of the South, and of the na- 
tion will be retarded. 

CAUSES OF CRIME 

2. The causes of this state of affairs seem clear : 

First. The mass of the Negroes are in a transient stage between slavery and 
freedom. Such a period of change involves physical strain, mental bewilder- 
ment and moral weakness. Such periods of stress have among all people given 
rise to crime and a criminal class. Secondly. Race prejudice in so far as it nar- 
rows the opportunities open to Negroes and teaches them to lose self-respect and 
ambition by arbitrary caste proscriptions' is a potent cause of carelessness, disor- 
der and crime. Thirdly. Negroes have less legal protection than others against 
unfair aggression upon their rights, liberty and prosperity. This is particularly 
true of Negro women, whose honor and chastity have in this state very little pro- 
tection against the force and influence of white men, particularly in the country 
districts and small towns. Fourthly. Laws as to vagrancy, disorder, contracts for 
work, chattel mortgages and crop-liens are so drawn as to involve in the coils of 
the law the ignorant, unfortunate and careless Negroes, and lead to their degra- 
dation and undue punishment, when their real need is inspiration, knowledge 
and opportunity. Fifthly. Courts usually administer two distinct sorts of justice : 
one for whites and one for Negroes; and this custom, together with the fact that 
judge and court officials are invariably white and elected to office by the influence 
of white votes alone, makes it very difficult for a Negro to secure justice in court 
when his opponent is white. Sixthly. The methods of punishment of Negro crim- 
inals is calculated to breed crime rather than stop it. Lynching spreads among 
black folk the firmly fixed idea that few accused Negroes are really guilty ; the 
leasing of convicts, even the present system of state control, makes the state 
traffic in crime for the sake of revenue instead of seeking to reform criminals for 
the sake of moral regeneration ; and finally the punishment of Negro criminals is 
usually unintelligent : they are punished according to the crime rather than ac- 
dording to their criminal record ; little discrimination is made between old and 
young, male and female, hardened thug and careless mischief-maker; and the re- 
sult is that a single sentence to the chaingang for a trivial misdemeanor usually 
makes the victim a confirmed criminal for life. 

EXTENT AND CURE OF CRIME 

3. There is no evidence to show that crime is increasing among Negroes in this 
state. Save in a few of the larger towns there seems to be a marked decrease since 



4. The cure for Negro crime lies in moral uplift and inspiration among Negroes. 
The masses of the race must be made vividly to realize that no man ever has an ex- 
cuse for laziness, carelessness, and wrong-doing. That these are not a cure for op- 
pression, but rather invite and encourage further oppression. Negroes then must 



66 NINTH ATLANTA CONFERENCE 

be taught to stop fighting, gambling, and stealing, which seem to be the usual mis- 
demeanors of the careless; and particularly the law-abiding must separate them- 
selves from that dangerous criminal element among us who are responsible for 
murder, rape and burglary, and vigorously condemn the crime and the criminal. 
Four agencies among Negroes may work toward this end : the church, the 
school, institutions for rescue work, and the juvenile reformatory. The first step 
in Georgia would seem to be one toward a reformatory for Negro youth. 

APPEAL TO WHITES 

5. Finally, this conference appeals to the white people of Georgia for six things : 
Fairer criminal laws; justice in the courts; the abolition of state traffic in crime 
for public revenue and private gain; more intelligent methods of punishment; the 
refusal to allow free labor to be displaced by convict labor ; and finally a wider 
recognition of the fact that honest, intelligent, law-abiding black men are safer 
neighbors than ignorant, underpaid serfs, because it is the latter class that breeds 
dangerous crime. 



INDEX 



Ages of colored prisoners, 14, 15. 

Alabama, 18. 

Answers of students, 54-55. 

Appeal to whites, 66. 

Arkansas, 7. 

Arrests, police, 20-23, 29, 31, 50, 51, 53. 

Atkinson, Governor, 6. 

Atlanta, Ga., 23, 49-50. 

Augusta, crime in, 52-54. 

Baltimore, Md., 22, 23, 26, 27, 28, 29. 
Bibliography, vi. 
Bond, Rev. Mr. James, 64. 
Bradley, Rev. Mr. H. S., 64. 
Bumstead, President Horace, 64. 
Bureau, Freedman's, 3, 4. 
Burroughs, Miss N. H., 64. 

Cable, Geo. W., 6. 

Cater, Mrs. Mary Tate, 64. 

Cato, 3. 

Causes of Negro crime, 55-59. 

Census, crime and the, 9-18. 

Chadwick, Miss Amy, 64. 

Charleston, S. C, 20, 21, 23, 26, 29, 30, 31. 

Charts: Arrests, 21, 24, 25; annual peni- 
tentiary commitments, 27; literacy, 62; 
lynchings, 61 ; population, 62; property, 
62. 

Chicago, 111., 20, 21, 22, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30. 

Chicago Tribune, 18. 

Cincinnati, O., 20, 21, 22, 26. 

Cities, crime in, 18-32. 

Colored prisoners, 13. 

Comments: From Negroes, 42-48; from 
whites, 38-40. 

Commission, the prison, 32-35. 

Conclusions, 60-64. 

Convict-lease system, 2, 4, 7, 8, 34. 

Convicts, occupations of Negro, 35. 

Coombs, the Rev. Mr. A. G., 52, 64. 

Courts, discrimination in, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 
48, 64. 

Crime: Amount of, 60, 61, 65; causes of 
Negro, 55-59, 65; cure of, 65-66; decrease 
of, 33, 34, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 43, 46, 48, 64; 
extent of Negro, 13-18,65; illiteracy and, 
15, 16, 17, 18; in cities, 18-32; increase of, 
33, 34, 3(5, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 47, 48; in 



Georgia, 32-48 ; in Jamaica, 56; kinds of, 
29, 30, 38, 39, 40, 41 ; slavery and, 2-9; state 
income from, 32, 34, 60, 61; the census 
and, 9-18; what Negroes think of, 54-55. 

Crop-lien system, the, 2. 

Cutler, Miss J. F., 64. 

Davis, Miss L. D., 52. 

Day, the Rev. Mr. A. Eustace, 64. 

Decrease of crime, 33, 34, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 

41, 43, 46, 48, 64. 
Delaware, 8. 

Discrimination in courts, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 

48, 64. 
Downward tendencies, 60-61. 

Escridge, Miss Hattie, 64. 

Extent of Negro crime, 13-18. 

Falkner, Dr. Roland P., 11. 

Faults: Of Negroes, 55-56; of whites, 56- 

57. 
Florida, 7. 
Freedman's Bureau, 3, 4. 

Gabriel, 3. 

Kardamont, Georgia, Camp, 5. 

Harris, Miss Ruth, 64. 

Illinois, 26, 27, 28, 29. 
Illiteracy, crime and, 15, 16, 17, 18. 
Income of state from crime, 32, 34, 60, 61. 
Increase of crime, 33, 34, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 

42, 43, 47, 48. 
Indiana, 26, 27, 28. 
Indianapolis, 22. 

Jail commitments, 23-26. 

Jamaica, crime in, 56. 

Justice, discrimination in, 43, 41, 45, 46, 47, 

48, 64. 
Juvenile reform, 5, 8, 35, 58. 

Kansas, 26, 27, 28. 
Kellor, 58 (note), 59 (note). 
Kentucky, 8. 
King, Mrs. G. S., 64. 
Knight, Dean L. L., 64. 
Ku Klux Klan, 3. 

Larceny, 39, 40, 41. 
Literacy, increase in, 62, 68. 



68 



NINTH ATLANTA CONFERENCE 



Louisville, Ky., 20, 21, 23, 26. 
Lynchings, 18, 19, 56, 60, 61. 

Maryland, 8. 
Massachusetts, 1, 7. 
Memphis, 23. 
Michigan, 23, 26, 27, 28, 29. 
Milledgeville State Prison, 32, 33. 
Mississippi, 9, 10, 16, 17. 
Moorland, the Rev. Mr. J. E., 64. 
Murder, 30, 31, 45. 

Negro prisoners, 13, 14, 15, 

New England, 2, 5, 7, 8, 17. 

New York, 10, 20, 21. 

Ninth Atlanta Conference, the, 64. 

North Carolina, 17. 

Occupations of Negro convicts, 35. 

Offenses of Negroes, 13, 14, 15. 

Ohio, 23, 26. 

Olivier, Sidney, 56 (note). 

Pauperism, causes of, 1-2. 

Penitentiary commitments, 26-32. 

Penn, Dr. W. F., 64. 

Philadelphia, Pa., 20, 21, 26. 

Poe, Mr. Clarence, 16. 

Police arrests, 20-23, 29, 31, 50, 51, 53. 

Population, increase in Negro, 61, 62. 

Prison commission, the, 32-35. 

Prisoners, colored, 13, 14, 15; punishment 
of, 58, 59. 

Prisoners in United States, 11. 

Prison population in Georgia, 33, 34, 35. 

Prison population, sentences of, 12. 

Problem, the, 1-2. 

Proctor, the Rev. Mr. H. H., 49, 64. 

Property of Negroes in Georgia, 62, 63, 64. 

Public schools: In Atlanta, 49; in Au- 
gusta, 53, 54; in Savannah, 52. 



Reformatories, juvenile, 5, 8, 35, 58. 
Reports: From Negroes, 40-41; 



from 



whites, 36-37. 
Resolutions of the Conference, 65-66. 

Sanborn, Mr. Prank B., 1, 64. 

Savannah, Ga., 20, 21, 22, 23, 29, 30, 31, 32, 49, 

50-52. 
Sentences, length of, 12, 35; life, 35. 
Slavery and crime, 2-3, 9, 10. 
Sledd, Professor Andrew, 57. 
Some conclusions, 60-64. 
South Carolina, 17. 
Southern criminal conditions, 57-59. 
Special reports, 35-48. 
State prisons and reformatories, income 

and expense of, 5. 
Stealing, 38, 39, 40, 42. 
St. Louis, Mo., 20, 21, 22, 23, 26. 
Students, answers of, 54-55. 
Summary of reports, 48. 

Tendencies: Downward, 60-61; upward, 

61-64. 
Tennessee, 8. 
Texas, 8. ( 

Toussaint L'Ouverture, 3. 
Tribune, the Chicago, 18. 
Turner, Nat, 3. 

Union Army, 4. 

Upward tendencies, 61-64. 

Vardaman, Gov. James K., 9, 10, 17, 18; an- 
swer to, 9-11. 
Vesey, Denmark, 3. 
Virginia, 8. 

Washington, D. C, 20, 21, 22, 23, 26. 

West Virginia, 8. 

What Negroes think of crime, 54-55. 

Willcox, Professor Walter F., 9. 

Wilmer, the Rev. Mr. C. B., 64. 

Wines, Mr., 2. 

Workhouse commitments, 26. 

Work, Mr. Monroe N., 18, 49, 64. 



The proper study of mankind is man'* 



STUDIES OF NEGRO PROBLEMS 



The Atlanta University Publications 



,No. 

No. 
No. 

m. 

No. 
No. 



No. 



No. 



LNO. 



1 — Mortality among Negroes in Cities ; 51 pp., 1896. 

— Mortality among Negroes in Cities ; 24 pp., (2nd ed., 
abridged, 1903). 

2 — Social and Physical Conditions of Negroes in Cities ; 
86 pp., 1897. 

3 — Some Efforts of Negroes for Social Betterment; 66pp., 

1898. 

4 — The Negro in Business ; ■ 78 pp. , 1899. 
5 — The College-bred Negro ; 115 pp., 1900. 
— The College-bred Negro; 32 pp., (2nd ed. abridged). 

6— The Negro Common School ; 120 pp., 1901. 
7— The Negro Artisan; .. 2(M> pp., 1902. 
8— Tjk Negro Church; 212 pp., 1903. 
9 — Notes on Negro Crime ; 75 pp., 1904. 
10 — Methods and Results. 



Some single numbers and a few complete and incomplete sets are 

for sale 

For prices, address W. E. B. Du Bois, Atlanta University, Atlanta, Ga. 



We study the problem that others discus* 





OW that the white savages of Europe 
are overrunning the dark savages 
everywhere; now that the European na- 
tions are vying with one another in polit- 
ical burglaries; now that we have entered 
upon an era of social cannibalism in which 
the strong nations are devouring the 
weaker; now that national interests, na= 
tional prestige, pluck, and so forth, are 
alone thought of, and equity has utterly 
dropped out of thought, while rectitude is 
scorned as "unctious"; it is useless to re- 3 
sist the wave of barbarism. There is a 
bad time coming, and civilized man will 
(morally) be uncivilized before civilization 
can again advance. 

HERBERT SPENCER. 



MHMamra 





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